The homeowners whose house was used for an underage drinking party after which a Bethesda teen died on his walk back will not face charges, according to Montgomery County police.
Navid Sepehri, a 17-year-old Walt Whitman student, was found dead Dec. 10 in a wooded area after he was reported missing early that morning. He had left a party the night before at a house about a half a mile from where he was found.
Medical examiners ruled his death as accidental, resulting from acute alcohol intoxication complicated by drowning and hypothermia.
The party on Elgin Lane involved underage drinking and prompted a police response, and officers interacted with several teens, including Sepehri, as well as two homeowners at the house.
On Monday, police announced that charges would not be filed against the homeowners “as there were no violations of the law observed by officers,” according to a press release. Police said there is no indication the homeowners provided alcohol to the teens at the house. The homeowners told police that they explained to the attendees that no alcohol was allowed and called some parents after discovering minors had brought alcohol to the party, police said.
Police said that what the homeowners told them that night, which was captured on body camera, was corroborated by one of the teens that night, as well as in a follow-up investigation.
Police also determined that the bottle of vodka found with Sepehri’s body was purchased from a store outside the county. Police did not specify where and said they have not determined how Sepehri got the bottle.
However, police reported that they found two fraudulent Pennsylvania driver’s licenses on Sepehri that list him as old enough to buy alcohol.
The police department is continuing to review the actions of the officer who encountered Sepehri that night, as well as an officer who spoke with his father, Frank Sepehri, at 3:30 a.m. the next day at a district police station.
His family has alleged that the county police mishandled the case because police did not file a missing person report when Frank Sepehri first came to police and did not inform police they had seen Navid Sepehri that night. Jamshid Sepehri previously told Bethesda Beat that police did not adequately help look for Navid.
Navid’s uncle, Jamshid Sepehri, said Monday he could not say much because his family had hired an attorney but the family remains unsatisfied with the police handling of the investigation.
“What I can tell you is we have received zero cooperation from the Montgomery County police department,” he said.
In Monday’s press release, police wrote that the department is working with the Sepehri family and their lawyer to allow them to view the body camera footage of officers speaking to Navid.
Police have asked anyone who was with Navid that night or early morning to call detectives at 240-773-5070.