A body found in a Gilbert lake last month is believed to have been that of a Chandler man reported missing a week earlier, police confirmed this week.
The police confirmation comes weeks after the man’s family said he had died as part of an online fundraising page.
Kemeonta Staggers, 20, of Chandler, went missing on Feb. 9. Chandler police issued an alert a few days later asking for the public’s help locating the man, who had left his home between 5 and 6 a.m.
Chandler Police said at the time the man’s cell phone was found at Roadrunner Park, near Queen Creek and Gilbert roads.
On Feb. 17, Gilbert police said a man’s body was found in a lake in the same area, near Queen Creek and Lindsay roads.
The investigation since then “indicates a strong likelihood” the body is that of Staggers, Sgt. Bill Balafas, a Gilbert police spokesman, told The Arizona Republic Tuesday night, adding some items found near the scene were factors.
Staggers’ family had started a Gofundme.com page soon after the body was found saying he had died and seeking to raise money to have his body returned back to Illinois for services. The effort, which has since concluded, raised more than $11,000.
Although the Gofundme page had said Staggers died, Gilbert police held off on confirming his identity while the investigation was continuing.
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Balafas said a final report from the Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office is pending.
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