Dear PoPville – Dead Body in Rock Creek Park

Photo by PoPville flickr user jiconoclast

“Dear PoPville,

Sorry for the depressing subject line, but I’m wondering if you’ve heard anything more about this news story [from the Washington Post]:

“Two people on Friday morning discovered the body of a woman near the William Howard Taft Bridge in Northwest Washington, according to D.C. police.

The cause of death remains undetermined, and Officer Araz Alali, a police department spokesman, said detectives have not yet identified the victim.”

It seems wild that they found a dead body in Woodley Park last week, especially so close to the running trail, but there’s been absolutely no follow-up by the MSM.

My friend and I happened upon the scene when we were running the other morning. It was really disturbing, and made me wonder about trail safety.

Do you know what’s going on?”

Ed. Note: An inquiry with MPD has not (yet) been replied to.

12 Comment

  • Somebody had apparently jumped from the Taft Bridge above the Cathedral Avenue ramp off Shoreham Drive just a couple of weeks ago. I was driving past just when the ambulance was arriving.

    • That’s my understanding as well. And it’s probably why there’s been no followup — no suspect to track down, no threat to the public, etc.

    • I was running on the bridge in the morning around 5:30am that morning. The police had a small piece of the sidewalk taped off on the south side of the bridge. From the north side, it looked like there was a small step stool right next to the railing. I instantly thought/speculated that someone must have jumped and have been looking for news to confirm that.

    • I was going to say the same thing. I walked by and saw the body covered in a sheet on the ground. I was told someone jumped. It seems weird there was nothing in the news about it though.

      • I read somewhere that suicides are generally not reported because there is a documented copy-cat effect. Also not sure it is newsworthy, exactly.

    • Guitarist John Fahey committed suicide the exact same way. I think that spot is somewhat known for that.

      • Assuming you’re talking about the one-and-only John Fahey, he died shortly after undergoing coronary bypass surgery. Here’s a quote from his wiki page:
        “In February 2001, six days before what would have been his 62nd birthday, Fahey died at Salem Hospital after undergoing a sextuple coronary bypass operation.”

  • Other than the initial report, they tend not to write about suicides for a variety of reasons. Based on location, I’m sure that’s what this was. This is the second suicide there in the past two months.

  • The Centers for Disease Control actually recommend against newspapers reporting on suicides, because of findings that suicide is essentially contagious. You can read their report here:

    • Unless of course it’s a homicide/suicide as is the case in most of the mass shootings. I wonder if those had not been publicized, would there be less of them.

  • Yes, it is best not to report suicide – the Werther Effect.

  • Indeed. The same reason we should stop reporting mass shootings.

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