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The original item was published from 3/12/2017 8:53:50 PM to 4/1/2017 12:00:02 AM.

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Police Department

Posted on: March 12, 2017

[ARCHIVED] Vehicle pulled from river; no one found inside

Vehicle being pulled from river

Emergency crews this evening pulled a gray Hyundai Sonata from the area where the Battle Creek and Kalamazoo rivers converge.

No one was found inside the vehicle, which was missing most of its hood and the back window. It was towed to the Battle Creek Police Department crime lab for processing, as the investigation continues.

Police are investigating whether the driver of the vehicle was 31-year old Cortez Lewis of Detroit. Lewis has connections in Battle Creek and was reported missing March 5 by his girlfriend. He is a black man, 5'9" and 195 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes.
The report came one day after the car crashed into the Kalamazoo River, early on the morning of March 4, off Dickman Road near Capital Avenue. The bumper found in the river during the first search, that same day, was determined to be a match to the girlfriend's rented Hyundai vehicle. Attempts to locate Lewis via the location of his cell phone placed him in the area where the vehicle crashed into the river.
While the investigation continues, officials are confident that the Hyundai pulled from the river today is the rental car.

The car was first noticed by a fisherman this afternoon. With the water level in the river dropping, the man spotted the car's bumper and license plate. Officials confirmed by boat that a vehicle was in the area of the buoy placed during last weekend's search of the area. 

Aiming to retrieve the car before losing daylight today, Battle Creek Fire, Battle Creek Police, Emmett Township, Calhoun County, and LifeCare Ambulance officials gathered, along with Buck's Crane Service, Tigers Towing, and McClaine's Towing Service. The towing companies assisted with the heavy equipment needed to pull the vehicle to shore.

Anyone with information should please call Battle Creek Police at 269-966-3322 or Silent Observer at 269-964-3888.

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