Ahoskie vehicle found in Suffolk pond

Published 5:36 pm Saturday, January 9, 2010

SUFFOLK, Va. – A vehicle reported stolen from an Ahoskie residence three months ago was discovered here Thursday in a pond owned by International Paper.

In another twist to this story, the lien holder on the vehicle – a 1999 Pontiac Grand Am – had issued a repossession order, but was unable to locate the car in October of last year.

Ahoskie Police Lt. Detective Jeremy Roberts said Ethelene Boone of 208 West Rogers Street, Ahoskie, reported the vehicle stolen on Oct. 12, 2009.

“She said she had driven the vehicle to Suffolk on Oct. 11, returning to Ahoskie at 11 p.m. that night,” Roberts said. “She said the last time she saw the car it was parked in her driveway at that time and date. When she went out the next morning (Oct. 12), the car was gone.”

Roberts stated that his initial involvement in the investigation was with the lien holder of the vehicle – Fast Loan Finance Company, a Virginia-based business.

“One of the first things we do when a vehicle is reported stolen is to check with the lien holder of the vehicle to make sure that it has not been repossessed,” Roberts said. “In this particular case we learned that the lien holder had issued a repossession order, but was unable to locate the car.”

The search ended Thursday when the car was found partially submerged in the pond, located on Camp Pond Road in southwest Suffolk.

According to Desmond Stills, IP’s public information officer, the vehicle was found by an IP environmental engineer doing his rounds at the paper mill’s main holding pond.

The 1,460-acre pond is used to hold the water left over from the mill’s processes, Stills said. The water is treated before it is sent to the pond, where it then sits until the pond is drained once a year. The pond has a seven-mile circumference and its level rises throughout the year until the time arrives to drain it.

It was this year’s drainage that exposed the vehicle, Stills said.

(R.E. Spears III, Managing Editor of the Suffolk (Va.) News-Herald, a sister publication of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, contributed to this story.)