UPDATE: Body in Lake Carlton positively identified as missing Publix intern


The Loganville Police Department reports that the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office has positively identified the body in Lake Carlton as that of missing Publix Intern Alvin Ahmed. The death has been ruled as suicide.

“While there has been widespread speculation and rumors on social media that Mr. Ahmed was the victim of an abduction or other foul play, a thorough, complete and diligent investigation has been completed by the Loganville Police Department, Gwinnett county Police Homicide Unit,  Walton County Sheriff’s Office Crime Scene Unit and the Gwinnett County Medical Examiner’s Office that developed clear and compelling evidence that Mr. Ahmed was a victim of suicide,” Loganville Assistant Police Chief Dick Lowry said in a press release. “We can confirm that the early reports of a confrontation between Mr. Ahmed and three unknown subjects in the Publix Parking lot the day before he was reported missing were inaccurate and simply did not happen.”

Lowry went on to express appreciation for the cooperation and support of Publix and their staff during the investigation, as well as businesses and homeowners in the Lake Carlton area that provided video evidence from their surveillance systems that helps to establish a definitive timeline of events.

“Our focus from the beginning of this investigation was to locate Mr. Ahmed and bring him home safely. Unfortunately, that was just not possible in this case. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Ahmed family during this most difficult time and we offer them our most sincere and heartfelt condolences for their loss,” Lowry said in closing.

The Gwinnett County Police Department also released information confirming the details and confirmed that DNA from Ahmed’s family was used to confirm his identity. GCPD also gave more information as to how the ruling of suicide was obtained by the Medical Examiner’s Office.

“Mr. Ahmed’s family members were able to obtain data from his phone’s last automatic backup, which was provided to detectives. The phone data contained a note which indicated that Mr. Ahmed staged certain elements of the case to cast suspicion that he had been murdered. Included in the note were details of a story about an encounter with suspicious persons who asked about his car, watch, and how much money he made. He relayed the same story to family members and coworkers days prior to his disappearance,” GCPD wrote. “The same note contained the specific list of items he purchased from Publix on the night he went missing and details of how his car was left.  Most importantly, details about how he planned to turn off his watch and phone, discard them at the nearby Atmosphere Bar and Grill, and continue on to Lake Carlton were also included in the same note.”

According to GCPD, Ahmed was seen on security video at three different locations on July 16, 2018, the night he went missing.

“The first was at the Publix at about 9:14 pm, just after Mr. Ahmed finished his shift and purchased the specific items from his list. At 10:06 p.m. a person matching Mr. Ahmed’s description was seen walking alone on a security camera at Atmosphere Bar and Grill (540 Athens Highway, Loganville).  Mr. Ahmed’s phone stopped communicating with the cell phone tower covering the area at the same time, indicating it had been turned off. At 10:30 pm, a person matching Mr. Ahmed’s description was seen walking alone toward Lake Carlton on a security camera at a private residence on Lake Carlton Road,” GCPD said in the press release. “In conclusion, the evidence, in this case, indicates Mr. Ahmed’s death was a suicide. There is no credible evidence that the case was a homicide.”

GCPD said Ahmed’s family members have been fully informed and the family has asked that the media and public respect their need for privacy at this time.

Initial Story

With no other news over the weekend, the family, friends and co-workers of Alvin Ahmed began another week without any conclusive information on what happened to the 25-year-old pharmacy Intern who was last seen a full week ago.

After clocking out from his pharmacy job at the Loganville Publix at 9 p.m. on Monday, July 16, 2018, Ahmed finished up some shopping for his mother and headed to his car that was parked at the top of the Loganville Publix parking lot. He was seen on store video leaving the building, still wearing his pharmacy coat and carrying the groceries. And that was the last time he was seen. His car was located in the same parking spot the following day with his pharmacy coat and the groceries for his mother still inside it but no sign of Ahmed.

On Friday, friends, family and other members of the Publix family gathered at Trinity Grace Church for a candlelight vigil for the young pharmacist who was getting ready to begin a career as a full-time, qualified pharmacist with Publix. With some of his co-workers wearing shirts that read, #JusticeforAlvin, a diverse crowd of friends, co-workers, and community members gathered to say a few words, light candles and pray for a positive outcome in the disappearance of this Loganville High School and University of Georgia graduate. So many people turned up for the candlelight vigil that it had to be moved outside to accommodate the crowd. Concerned Publix personnel had contacted the church to ask if a vigil could be held there and the church was quick to agree.

Crowds began to collect at Trinity Grace Church early Friday evening, July 19, 2018, for a vigil for missing Loganville Publix Intern Alvin Ahmed. Photo credit Sharon Swanepoel
Crowds began to collect at Trinity Grace Church early Friday evening, July 19, 2018, for a vigil for missing Loganville Publix Intern Alvin Ahmed. Photo credit Sharon Swanepoel
Crowds began to collect at Trinity Grace Church early Friday evening, July 19, 2018, for a vigil for missing Loganville Publix Intern Alvin Ahmed. Photo credit Sharon Swanepoel

“The primary reason you come here this evening is for Alvin,” said Tully Hunter, pastor of Trinity Grace Church, going on to say, “We pray for Alvin’s family – those horrors they must be going through. We’re here for each of you – anything we can do for you just let us know.”

Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez spoke briefly, noting the size of the crowd who came to join the vigil.

Loganville Mayor Rey Martinez speaking to the community at a prayer vigil for missing Loganville Publix Pharmacy intern Alvin Ahmed. Photo credit Sharon Swanepoel

“As I’m out there talking to some of the folks I see some classmates, I see some co-workers, and, by the size of the crowd, Mr. Alvin touched a lot of lives,” Martinez said. “So to the family, on behalf of the city of Loganville, the Mayor’s Office and the City Council, God Bless You. We are behind you 100 percent.”

Publix store manager Ronnie Watkins also spoke, thanking everyone for coming out and sharing his fondness for the young intern who he had hired four years before.

“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Alvin and his family,” Watkins said. “Publix – we’re doing everything in our power to help out with this investigation. Alvin – you couldn’t ask for a kinder person. I hired him four years ago – an awesome kid. Again our thoughts and prayers go out to the family as we hope for the best.”

As the sun began to set, the power lines gave the appearance of a cross on the hill as the community gathered for a prayer vigil for missing Publix Pharmacy intern Alvin Ahmed. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

The power lines above made the sign of a cross as the sun began to set and one-by-one candles were lit from one to another and held high as the community joined in prayer. There were tears and quiet sobs as the pastor prayed for peace for Alvin, no matter what the outcome of the investigation, and for comfort for his friends and family in such troubling and uncertain times.

Trinity Grace Church pastor Tully Hunter began the chain of candles being lit for the prayer vigil for missing pharmacy intern Alvin Ahmed on July 19, 2018. Photo credit: Sharon Swanepoel

At the time of the vigil, there was no proof either way on whether a body found in Lake Carlton two days after the disappearance was that of Ahmed or any sign of what could have happened to him after he left the store on Monday evening.

If anyone has any information they are asked to call Walton County Communications Center at 770-267-6556. While there are suspicious circumstances surrounding his disappearance, Loganville Police Department is urging the public not to draw any conclusion that could impede the investigation. Gwinnett County Police Department is also investigating and has taken the lead since the discovery of a body in Lake Carlton. Any information also can be shared with Gwinnett Police at 770-513-5300.

The family is offering a $5000 reward for information on the whereabouts of Ahmed.

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