Woman's body found in murky reservoir Police still trying to identify her

April 14, 1993|By Alisa Samuels | Alisa Samuels,Staff Writer

Police are trying to identify a woman whose body was discovered in Rocky Gorge Reservoir yesterday morning in Scaggsville, an apparent homicide victim.

A fisherman discovered the body at about 11:30 a.m. in the 11200 block of Harding Road, police said. The body was face down in 1 to 2 feet of water near the shore.

It appeared that the woman had been struck in the head, then dragged through a wooded area and placed in the murky reservoir, police said.

Police said the body did not appear to have been in the water overnight.

The state medical examiner's office would probably perform an autopsy today, said Sgt. Gary L. Gardner, a county police spokesman.

Sergeant Gardner said that the woman had no identification and that police would try to match her fingerprints against those on file to determine her identity.

Police described the victim as a black woman in her 30s, between 5 feet 5 and 5 feet 9 inches tall, 150 and 175 pounds with short brown hair. She was wearing an olive-colored dress, a gold bracelet, a gold necklace with a gold Libra pendant and four gold rings, including a gold fan-style ring with seven diamond stones. One 10-karat gold band had the word "DASON" inscribed, possibly the name of the manufacturer, police said.

Police are also trying to determine if a sweater and white tennis shoes found on nearby steps at Scotts Cove belonged to the victim.

If the death is ruled a homicide, it would be the second in Howard County this year.

Yesterday afternoon, police worked to gather evidence at the scene, and the Laurel Volunteer Rescue Squad searched the water for evidence.

The reservoir is owned by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, Mr. Gardner said.

John Debow, a commission crew chief, said the park closes at sunset, but it is hard to keep people out.

Mr. Debow said his truck had broken down and had to be repaired yesterday morning. Had it not been for that, his crew probably would have found the body, he said.

One couple who stopped to watch the police activity were astonished that a body had been found at the reservoir, a usually quiet park that attracts picnickers. The reservoir is in southern Howard County near the Montgomery County line.

"It's a safe park," the woman said. "We walk down here all the time."

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