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Bradenton suspect drowns after fleeing from police, authorities say

Bradenton Police Department says a suspect involved in vehicle burglaries entered a pond after refusing to return to police and was later found dead in the water.

BRADENTON, Fla — At about 4:05 a.m. on Saturday, investigating officers found two males who matched descriptions of suspects involved in vehicle burglaries at the Carlton Arms of Bradenton apartment complex and tried to detain them, according to a news release from the Bradenton Police Department.

Police say they were able to take one suspect, 19-year-old Khalil Brown, into custody and charged him with burglary to an occupied structure.

The other suspect, 19-year-old Taivon Saunders, ran away from the officers on-scene and jumped over a fence, then ran down an embankment into a pond at the apartment complex, law enforcement say.

After refusing to head back to officers, BPD say Saunders went deeper into the pond and but disappeared and did not show back up to the surface. 

Saunders was found dead at the scene after the Manatee County Sheriff's Office Dive Team located him in the pond and also found a backpack, the news release says.

The investigation is still ongoing and the District 12 Medical Examiner's Office will determine the exact the cause of death, police say.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Carl Jones at 941-932-9334 and or send an email to BPDTips@BradentonPD.com. To leave any information anonymously and be eligible for a cash reward of up to $3,000, call Crime Stoppers (toll-free) at 1-866-634-8477 (TIPS) or send an E-Tip at manateecrimestoppers.com. 

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