Police confirm body was that of missing man

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The body found in the trunk of a car in an Oxon Hill impound lot on Monday was that of Maurice Bynum, a 22-year-old whose mother had reported him missing in late November, police confirmed Wednesday.

Cpl. Mike Rodriguez, a Prince George’s County police spokesman, said a state medical examiner had confirmed the body’s identification, but had not yet determined how Bynum died. Rodriguez said the case is still being treated as a “death investigation,” not a homicide.

Police officers discovered Bynum’s body in the trunk of his sister’s black Honda Accord in an impound lot in the 1100 block of Elwin Road Monday evening. Tonya Bynum, Maurice Bynum’s mother, had reported the car stolen at the same time as she reported her son missing in late November. She called police to the impound lot Monday after learning the Honda had been recovered.

Tonya Bynum has been critical of how Prince George’s County police have handled the case. She has asked why they did not find and impound the car sooner and why they did not find the body before the car was impounded.

An officer ordered the locked car towed from the 500 block of Kisconko Turn to the impound lot on March 8 after simply looking inside the windows, authorities have said. Police were called about the vehicle when it was parked in the same area on Jan. 16, but a check of the car’s tags apparently did not reveal it had been reported stolen, authorities have said. Police have said they are investigating whether officers might have made mistakes in handling the case.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.

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