Drowned man had history of delusions

By Daniel Silliman


The dead man's diary is filled with writings about saving the world and space travel, police reports show.

According to the Clayton County Police, 39-year-old Todd Lopeman's notebook of timed and dated entries was "mostly babble."

Lopeman was found floating dead in Murray Lake late last week, apparently from drowning after a sequence of bizarre events believed to be caused by dementia.

At about 8 a.m., on Thursday, Lopeman, wearing black sweat pants, a black shirt and black-and-white sneakers, said "I'm going to go save the world," and ran outside, according to his boyfriend.

The man, identified by police reports only as "Mr. Mills," had allegedly been having an argument with Lopeman. Mills followed Lopeman outside and tried to get him to return to their 1370 Conley Road home, but Lopeman ran through the backyards of the neighborhood, jumping fences, leaving Mills behind. When Mills heard the ambulance sirens coming toward him, he told police, he knew they were coming for Lopeman.

According to Mills, Lopeman was suffering from a sleeping disorder and delusions, was taking medication for a mental disorder and receiving treatment from a psychiatrist.

Lopeman ran down the block, through back yards, to 4119 Murray Lake Circle, police reports show. He kicked open the back door and said, "Honey, I'm home," startling 52-year-old Dennis Gladden, who was sitting in his house.

Gladden, who had never seen this man before and didn't know who he was, asked him what he was doing. Lopeman reportedly said he didn't know, and Gladden ordered him out of the house.

Lopeman "took off running and jumped into the lake," according to a police report. The man was seen walking out into the lake, which is only about three feet deep, and then tripping and going under the water.

When police arrived around 8:40 a.m., Lopeman was dead. Officers pulled him from the lake to the shore line and Clayton County paramedics couldn't resuscitate him.

As police secured the scene, Mills ran up, saw Loppeman's body and shouted his name.

Investigator's initially thought the death was a suicide, but the 39-year-old's body was turned over to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, along with the man's medication and his diary.