Police seek identity of body found in reservoir Man was discovered by boater at Rocky Gorge

October 20, 1998|By Nancy A. Youssef | Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF

Howard County police are trying to determine the identity of a man found floating in the Rocky Gorge Reservoir during the weekend and are investigating the cause of death.

Police officials said the man -- described as Asian or Hispanic, 5 feet 8 inches tall, about 140 pounds and in his early 30s -- was wearing a green sweat shirt, blue jeans and black sneakers.

A boater discovered the body at 2 p.m. Saturday, said Sgt. Morris Carroll, a Police Department spokesman. Police think the man had been dead about two days.

Carroll said the man was not carrying identification and that police could not determine how he had gotten to the reservoir.

"There was no sign on the shore to indicate why he was there," such as a fishing rod or boat, Carroll said.

He said officials called the death suspicious even though no sign of physical trauma was found on the man's body.

Suspicious death "does not rule anything out," such as homicide, drowning, accidental death or suicide, Carroll said. "Right now it is wide open."

He said a medical examiner will complete an autopsy report within two weeks. Police have sent the man's fingerprints to several federal agencies, such as the FBI and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service.

Marjorie Johnson, spokeswoman for the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission, which oversees the reservoir, said the reservoir is part of a 4,000-acre watershed that can pump up to 65 million gallons a day to Laurel and to northern and eastern Prince George's County.

She said the commission's police force surveys parts of the watershed daily.

Carroll said the last time officials found a body in the reservoir was six years ago. That case was ruled a homicide.

Pub Date: 10/20/98

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