SCMPD estimates nearly $5,000 spent in search for missing kayake - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

SCMPD estimates nearly $5,000 spent in search for missing kayaker

(Source: SCMPD) (Source: SCMPD)

It appears that a Chatham County man who was reported missing on Sunday was trying not to be found when police caught up with him.

Police in Oklahoma City placed 38-year old Cody Magee into custody Wednesday morning. Magee was reported missing by his wife after he didn't return home from a kayak trip near Tybee Island. That report sparked a massive search that was suspended Tuesday night. 

It all started at the Lazaretto Creek boat ramp. For the past two days, the U.S. Coast Guard, Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, and other agencies have all been thinking Cody Magee might be in danger. However, following the news that Magee was supposed to be in court in Effingham County on Monday and had a bench warrant out for his arrest, investigators became suspicious, ultimately pulling the plug on the search.

We visited the Effingham County Sheriff's Office Wednesday, to speak with a sergeant who provided a little background on why Magee was in trouble in the first place.

"Mr. Magee first came into contact with this agency through chat rooms and things of that nature, where he believed he was chatting with a 14-year-old female at the time, which actually was an undercover officer. During that time, he expressed that he was having these rape fantasies, and he wanted to have rape fantasies with this 14-year-old female," said Sgt. Don White, ECSO. 

Thousands of dollars of taxpayer money and valuable time of search and rescue crews from multiple agencies were spent trying to find Magee. Savannah-Chatham Metro's Marine Patrol boat put in 24 hours of searching, costing them nearly $2,000 in manpower and fuel. For their helicopter, seven and a half hours searching in the air cost a little more than $2,600. The Department of Natural Resources invested a total of 12 hours on the water with two officers for Monday and Tuesday. Tybee Fire and Ocean Rescue's only full-time fireman spent hours on the water as well. The U.S. Coast Guard is still crunching the numbers for the cost of their use of air and water resources. 

"You don't wish harm upon anyone, regardless of the crime that they have committed. And so, your first thought is that if this is an actual...if he's actually missing, your first thoughts go out with the family and what they are going through at the time. But, there is always a lingering thought in the back of your mind, 'was this staged? Was this something just to get out of going to court? Was this something to escape the sentence for the crime that he committed," Sgt. White said. 

Magee will have the option to have or waive an extradition hearing, and at some point in the near future, he'll be brought back to Georgia where he will at the very least face the failure to appear in court charge for his disappearance. He is facing several felony charges from that investigation, and could possibly face federal charges now as well, for running across state lines. 

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