2021 | Police & Fire

Remains found in Frederick County were of Gaithersburg woman

Hikers discovered foot; FBI found most of rest of body

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The remains of 21-year-old Joanna Michelle Amaya, of Gaithersburg, were found on June 12 in Frederick County.

Photo from FBI

The FBI’s Baltimore Field Office is investigating the death of a Gaithersburg woman whose remains were found last month in Frederick County.

Joanna Michelle Amaya, 21, who also went by the name Dior Reyes, was found dead on June 12 in Catoctin Mountain Park in Thurmont.

Hikers found an orange Nike shoe with Amaya’s foot inside on June 12, FBI spokeswoman Joy Jiras told Bethesda Beat on Thursday.

After hearing of that discovery, the FBI sent a team who found most of the rest of her body in the form of “skeletal remains,” about a half-mile from where the foot was found, Jiras said.

A hand and a foot were missing, she said.

Amaya’s keys found at the scene. Photo from FBI.

Jiras said it’s not clear how Amaya died and that the FBI is trying to figure out what happened to her.

“It does feel suspicious to us, but the investigation is ongoing and we’re exploring all leads. And we really need the public to help fill in those gaps,” she said.

The FBI is taking the lead in the investigation because Amaya was found in a national park, Jiras said. The bureau is working with other agencies including the National Park Service, Maryland Natural Resources police and Gaithersburg police.

The Baltimore Medical Examiner’s Office helped identify her, but has not yet determined a cause of death.

Amaya was wearing a black track suit, a wrist guard and red Nike shoes when her body was found, according to the FBI.

She also had a Puma handbag and keys with an El Salvador keychain.

Authorities are asking anyone with information to call 800-225-5324 or their local FBI office.

Dan Schere can be reached at daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com