Bryan Glenn, the W.T. Woodson High School student whose disappearance touched off a large community search, committed suicide by hanging himself in a wooded park outside Fairfax City, the state medical examiner has ruled.
Glenn’s parents, who were informed of the finding by Fairfax County police, declined to comment.
Glenn’s case attracted wide attention because of his sudden and unexpected disappearance. The 17-year-old skipped school on Oct. 1 and didn’t come home. His car was found in the parking lot of Thaiss Park, a complex of Little League fields in Fairfax City, early on Oct. 2.
Though many teenagers go missing every year, and nearly all are found, Fairfax County police used a bloodhound, a helicopter, and numerous officers on the ground to search through Mantua Park, the Fairfax County park just outside Fairfax City. But they didn’t find him. The police declined to comment on the case Friday.
A volunteer search party arranged by his family’s friends found Glenn in Mantua Park on Oct. 8, about three-quarters of a mile from his car. His body was practically upright, numerous sources familiar with the discovery said, and he had been dead for some time. Police believe he probably hanged himself on Oct. 1. There were no signs of foul play.
Glenn’s death, if discovered promptly, would not have been reported by the news media, which typically does not report on suicides. But the high-profile search for him meant that reporters and cameras were in the park when Glenn was found. No cause of death was released in October, pending toxicology tests. But those tests have now been completed and a spokeswoman for the medical examiner’s office on Friday released the manner and cause of death.