Diver Suspected of Faking Own Death

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. -- Police in Laguna Beach said Tuesday that a diver who was reported missing in September may still be alive and that he tried to fake his own death, possibly to escape legal problems.

John Sung Park was reported missing Sept. 11 by two fellow divers who told police they became separated off Laguna Beach. They called authorities, who conducted an extensive search.

The Laguna Beach Police Department said Tuesday there is evidence Park is alive and tried to fake his own death.

"The motive for the disappearance might be his attempt to avoid outstanding warrants and a pending sentencing hearing previously scheduled to take place on Sept. 15, 2008," police said in a statement.

"Park is also thought to have been involved in a crime, which occurred a few weeks after the disappearance. In October, the LAPD contacted our investigators and told them Park was a suspect in an assault with a deadly weapon case. He is alleged to have purposely hit a person with his vehicle. A $95,000 arrest warrant has been issued in that case," the statement said.
If he is still alive, Park would be 29 years old.

Anyone with information can contact police at 949-497-0373.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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