D.C. officer found dead after charged with child porn committed suicide, M.E. says

A District police officer who was found dead in the Washington Channel shortly after he was arrested in a child sex case in December committed suicide by drowning, the D.C. medical examiner’s office has ruled.

Marc J. Washington, 32, who lived in Southern Maryland, had been charged with a single count of production of child pornography. Authorities alleged he took semi-nude pictures of a 15-year-old girl who had run away from her Southeast Washington home and later returned. The 7-year veteran was on duty at the time.

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Washington death on Dec. 10 came one day after he was released from jail pending trial and ordered to remain on home detention and wear an electronic home monitoring bracelet. He had been arrested hours after the Dec. 2 incident.

He was one of two officers from the same 7th District station charged in sex related crimes in a matter of days. Officer Linwood Barnhill Jr., 47, is awaiting trial on two counts of pandering a minor for the purpose of prostitution. Police said he allegedly ran a prostitution ring from his apartment that involved at least one underage girl. Authorities say that Barnhill’s and Washington’s cases are not related.

Police said they pulled Washington from the Washington Channel on Dec. 10 about 9:30 p.m., after receiving a 911 call. The officer died at an area hospital. Authorities later found an empty car with clothing scattered nearby at Hains Point, in the first block of Ohio Drive SW.

Police had arrested Washington hours after they accused him of showing up at the apartment of the just returned girl. Court documents allege that he went into her bedroom, told her to undress and took partially nude pictures of her. The mother later called police, who arrested him in the early morning hours of Dec. 3.

At a community meeting in Southeast Washington in January, D.C. Police Chief Cathy L. Lanier told residents that Washington likely killed himself. The medical examiner’s office had not issued its final ruling at that time.

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