The Sad Tale of Thomas Entrekin

Here’s an unsurprising but nevertheless tragic end to an ongoing story.

The Fulton County Medical Examiners confirmed that a body found Thursday night on Hank Aaron Drive near Turner Field in Atlanta is that of a man missing since January 8.

The medical examiner said Friday Thomas Entrekin, 55, did not die of natural causes. The Blakely, Ga. man hadn’t been seen since January 8, when he was last thought to be driving to Atlanta.

Entrekin used to live on Boulder Way in East Point until his house caught fire several years ago.  Former neighbors on his street told CBS46 Entrekin moved to South Georgia to live with family, making periodic trips back to the burned out building to maintain the grounds.

The story of Entrekin’s disappearance made its way through local channels back in January; superficially, it might have seemed like that of someone who’d decided to disappear. But almost immediately, it was clear that something likely more sinister had happened to the poor guy:

Thomas Entrekin hasn’t been seen since January 8 when he headed to Atlanta. A little more than a week ago, a home invasion and high speed chase led police to catch three suspects in Entrekin’s truck in Conyers.

Dash cam video shows a Conyers police officer spotting a vehicle reportedly used in two different home invasions. After a brief pursuit, officers discovered the vehicle belonged to Entrekin…

“We can put them in possession of the truck as early as the 9th because we were able to look in their phones and see selfies they had taken with the truck in the background,” Dunn said.

So a guy and two kids had Entrekin’s truck the day after he went missing. Now, of course, maybe they found it and decided to use it for their crime spree, which went about as well as such things usually do for the perpetrators. If I were writing this as a piece of fiction, that’s how I’d make it go: someone else does in our analogue of poor Mr. Entrekin, these three clowns find the car, and off they go, doing some home invasions but totally unaware that the car is in every cop’s computer. Now they’re in jail, awaiting trial on the home invasions, and they’re going to get tagged with the guy’s murder, even though in this fictional narrative they’re innocent of that.

In another weird wrinkle, two women were seen shopping with the real Entrekin’s credit cards the day after he disappeared. They’re only on surveillance video, and nobody’s caught up to them yet. So of course in the fictional version of the story, these women find the cards in the abandoned car, decide to treat themselves, and have no idea that their small-scale larceny is going to get them dragged into a murder case. “I told her she shouldn’a bought that lobster.” The cops would have to track them down, figure out they just happened upon the cards in the truck, and have no connection to the clowns who came along later and took the truck, and who themselves have no connection to whomever actually killed the fictional version of Mr. Entrekin.

But of course crime fiction is generally much more interesting than actual crime.

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