Detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department – Major Crimes Division are investigating the discovery of human remains found in the 11500 block of Game Preserve Road as a suspicious death.
According to police, on Saturday, Nov. 12 at approximately 4:27 pm, officers from the MCPD 6th District responded to a wooded area in the 11500 block of Game Preserve Road for the report of human remains that had been found by hikers. In the woods, responding officers located a shallow grave that contained the human remains, which detectives have reason to believe is a male. An autopsy will be completed by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore.
The wooded area where the body was found on Saturday is part of the Great Seneca Creek Park, which creates a natural border between Germantown and Gaithersburg. Game Preserve Road runs through that portion of the woodlands. There are some homes along Game Preserve Road which runs from Clopper Road northeast to Frederick Road and beyond, but it is essentially a wooded area.
According to MCPD spokesman Officer Rick Goodale, investigators do know now how long the body had been in the woods. “Detectives are awaiting on the autopsy result and once they have the ME's findings they will know more about how long the remains had been there,” he said.
MCPD has not ruled this death a homicide. According to Goodale, “Detectives are also awaiting the autopsy results on the manner and cause of death. Once the cause and manner has been determined then the focus and direction of the investigation can be better determined. At this point, the detectives have to wait to determine if this death will or will not be criminal in nature, how the victim died, and who the victim was.”
In August of 2015, hunters discovered another male body in a shallow grave in a different wooded area of the parkland about three miles north in Great Seneca Stream Valley Park off Germantown Road. In December 2015, four suspected members of the MS-13 street gang were arrested in connection with that murder.
Montgomery County Police detectives from the Major Crimes Division charged the four suspects for the homicide of 34-year-old Marvin Misael Vargas-Osorio of Gaithersburg. It was Vargas-Osorio whose body was found in the shallow grave by hunters in Great Seneca Stream Valley Park on August 29. The body of Vargas-Osorio was found just off the Greenway Trail, approximately 200 yards from Watkins Mill Road/Germantown Road, according to police.
Detectives are urging anyone who may have information regarding this death to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070 or contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.
File Photos by Germantown Pulse.