Family learns of Decatur student’s death days after filing missing person report

*EDITOR’S NOTE: This article has been updated to include further details from DKPD.

The Decatur High School community is mourning the loss of another student weeks after remains of 17-year-old Decatur High Student AJ Haszelton were located.

On Nov. 16, the community learned that 16-year-old John Poe had been killed during a hit-and-run accident after being reported missing on Nov. 14.

“John’s father would like to extend our thanks to you all for your support in looking for John. We have received the worst possible news,” stated a Nov. 16 Facebook post from Poe’s sister-in-law Aaryn Jones, who, among others, were soliciting social media’s assistance in finding Poe over the weekend. “John was hit while biking along Covington [Highway] early Saturday morning and he passed away later that same morning. Please hold your loved ones tight and thank you all again.”

Hours before Poe’s family filed a missing person report with Decatur Police Department and later DeKalb County Police Department (DKPD), DKPD investigated a fatal pedestrian accident on Covington Highway near South Indian Creek Drive at approximately 3 a.m. Nov. 14, according to DKPD. Police say the victim, identified as Poe on Nov. 16, did not have any identification on him at the time of the accident and a passerby called in to 911 upon seeing Poe’s lying on the sidewalk. The report from the accident scene indicates the victim looked to be a white or Hispanic male between 25 to 30 years old. 

The police report states that nearby video surveillance shows that Poe was crossing in the middle of the intersection when he was struck by a white or light-colored vehicle. The driver of the vehicle, which may have damage to the front right side of the vehicle, left the scene and has yet to be identified.

Decatur High School is offering counseling to students and staff affected by the deaths by signing up at the following link:

In late October, Haszelton’s remains were found in Greene County, Ga.; his mother had reported him missing in April. An acquaintance of Haszelton has been arrested and charged with murder in connection to the case.

“Please know that we are here to support you, and we will get through this together,” stated DHS Principal Rochelle Lofstrand.

Anyone with information about the accident involving Poe is urged to call Crime Stoppers at (404) 577-TIPS.

A GoFundMe account has been set up to solicit donations for funeral expenses for Poe, who is described as “a happy, upbeat tall kid who enjoyed making others laugh.”

DKPD is also looking for drivers of a silver or gray Honda Accord (1998-2001) and an unknown color Nissan Rogue (2007-2015), which may be involved in a Nov. 11 fatal hit-and-run.


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