Keontae Chenault

The Douglas County Sheriff’s Department will lead the probe into the case of Keontae Chenault, a DeKalb County man whose body was found in Douglas County near I-20, sheriff’s department representatives confirmed on Tuesday.

An investigator with the department who declined to be identified said Douglas County “is conducting the investigation into the body that has been identified as Keontae Chenault.”

“We are conducting the investigation, and we don’t know what DeKalb County’s involvement is,” the investigator said. “We are covering all aspects of this current and active investigation.”

No other details were provided, including Chenault’s possible cause of death.

“We are waiting for a final autopsy report to be completed, which could take up to 60 to 90 days,” the investigator said.

A body, now confirmed as Chenault’s, was found on May 30 along I-20 in Douglas County, but the family said the connection between his disappearance and his identification was only achieved after they appealed to the media.

“We absolutely believe that DeKalb County’s lack of concern and attention to the case is the reason that we spent two weeks without knowing what happened to him,” family friend Jill Bernstein said. “They told us that they were sure that he just wanted to disappear and that there was absolutely no sign that any foul play had occurred.”

Chenault, a graduate of Berkmar High School in Lilburn, was supposed to meet with friends on the evening of May 22, and later go to his girlfriend’s house, but never showed up.

His mother, Kissa, first reported him missing on May 27 after the girlfriend reported his absence. He was officially designated a missing person by police on May 28.

Bernstein and Kissa went to the media after police officials told them on May 30 that the case had been closed because of a lack of evidence of foul play.

Authorities in Douglas County said they only made the connection after seeing media reports about the missing man, she said.

A comparison of Keontae’s dental records to the Douglas County victim confirmed that the victim was the deceased man.

DeKalb County Police have not responded to phone inquiries regarding the case.

Cathy Cobbs covers Dunwoody for Reporter Newspapers and Rough Draft Atlanta. She can be reached at