Dr J's Son Found Dead in Submerged Car

July 7, 2008 - 8:02 PM

(CNSNews.com) - The Seminole County Police Department in Orlando, Florida, Friday afternoon announced that the body inside a submerged car in a pond in that city was, in fact, the son of basketball great Julius "Dr J" Erving. The Department's coroner's office made positive identification of the body Friday morning.

Cory Erving, 19, was found dead in his automobile late Thursday. His body was submerged inside his automobile at the bottom of a pond located near the family home in suburban Orlando, according to authorities.

Sheriff Don Eslinger said an autopsy was performed by the County coroner, and drowning was determined to be the cause of young Erving's death. No foul play was suspected.

"The family has been notified," Eslinger said. "They're devastated."

The pond is at the end of a dirt path near the Erving family's gated community. Investigators believe the car had been in the water since Cory Erving disappeared at the start of Memorial Day weekend, six weeks ago.

Wire service reports say that the vehicle was found 20 yards from shore in about 8 feet of water. The car's windows were up, and the interior was filled with water. The driver's side seat belt was not fastened, Eslinger said. The sheriff added that there was the possibility Cory Erving was involved in an accident rather than committing suicide.

A $50,000 reward was offered for Cory Erving's safe return. But despite more than three weeks of national media exposure, there was no sign of Cory or his black 1999 Volkswagen Passat until Thursday.

Dr J, at news conferences pleading for help to locate his son, said Cory was born with a learning disability that he described as a mild form of dyslexia and attention deficit disorder.

"Our prayers are with Julius and the family at this time," spokesman Joel Glass of the NBA's Orlando Magic said. "He's a member of our family, and we're all grieving at the news." Dr J is an executive with the Magic.