Police: Man Found in Wheaton Park Died by Homicide Months Ago

Authorities believe man found in park last week might have been killed last winter or spring


Crime tape marked off a grassy area just off the main parking lot in the section of the park at the end of Shorefield Road off Georgia Avenue on Friday. Police have not confirmed where the body was found in the park.

Joe Zimmermann

Investigators have determined the man whose body was found in Wheaton Regional Park last week was a homicide victim—but police don’t know who he is.

The body was found on the night of Sept. 5 in the park at 11715 Orebaugh Ave. Montgomery County police have not specified where the body was located, but there was police tape surrounding a culvert near the park’s miniature train station last week.

County police announced Wednesday that the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore ruled the manner of death as homicide and noted there were signs of trauma on the man’s body.

From evidence on the scene and results of the autopsy, police believe he might have been killed between December 2016 and March 2017, police spokesman Rick Goodale said.

Detectives have not been able to identify the man, but police released details they gathered about him, hoping the public can help identify him.

Police describe him as a Hispanic man, about 5 feet 2 inches and 126 pounds. He had short, dark brown hair and was missing a bottom tooth near the front of his mouth.

He was wearing a large, gray sweatshirt with the words “First United Methodist Church Laurel”; a large, gray, long-sleeve hooded American Eagle shirt; Adam Levine-brand medium, black sweatpants; large, blue athletic shorts with the number “19” on the left and a stripe on the right; and black ankle socks.

Police did not specify his estimated age.

Evidence suggests the man may have been from Annapolis, police said.

“We’re waiting to see if anybody maybe recognizes the info and can help us ID him,” Goodale said.

Two bodies were found in Montgomery County parks last week, and police are now investigating both as homicide cases. On the morning of Sept. 6, a hiker saw a body in the stream in Silver Spring's Long Branch-Arliss Neighborhood Park. Police later identified the body as Cristopher Alfredo Funes Guerra, 20, from University Boulevard East in Silver Spring. 

Police are continuing to investigate the Wheaton park body and said they had no other specific information to release on Wednesday. Anyone with information about the homicide was asked to call police at 240-773-5070.

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