Death at Inner Harbor probed as suspicious

Friend at the scene says man, 22, may have been pushed

August 29, 2008|By Gus G. Sentementes | Gus G. Sentementes,gus.sentementes@baltsun.com

Baltimore police said they are investigating the death of a Montgomery County man pulled from the Inner Harbor early Wednesday as suspicious, and detectives are continuing to interview potential witnesses in the case.

The man was identified yesterday as Ankush Gupta, 22, who lived in Boyds, near Germantown. A close friend who was with him shortly before he died said the pair and three other friends had stopped at the Inner Harbor on their way back from a day trip to New York City.

In an interview yesterday, the 23-year-old friend - who declined to be identified because of concerns about his safety - said he thinks that Gupta was pushed into the water, although he did not see it happen.

The friend said Gupta had been strolling alone when he heard a scream and a splash from Gupta's direction about 1:30 a.m. He ran toward the sounds and saw an unknown man in a white shirt running from the area in front of the Light Street Pavilion, he said.

He said he didn't see his friend fall into the water because his view was blocked; but he watched the water for several minutes and saw no movements.

Then he and another friend continued to look for Gupta, and finally reported him missing about 2 a.m.

City Fire Department divers found Gupta's body about 3:20 a.m., and he was pronounced dead at the scene about 30 minutes later. His body was found in the same spot in the water where the friend said he heard the splash and the scream.

Police have said that Gupta was not drinking and was not depressed. A preliminary review by the state medical examiner's office found no indication of any trauma to his body, police said. An official cause and manner of death is pending.

Anoop Gupta, 58, said his son worked at Home Depot, had recently earned his associate's degree in electrical engineering and had planned to continue his schooling at the University of Maryland, College Park.

He said he worried that his son had been pushed into the water.

"He was very good. He was a very good man," he said.

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