The discovery of a man in the water off Hains Point on Tuesday night brought the District’s police chief to the scene, amid what she said was a “lot of speculation” about the man’s identity.
However, in a statement to the news media around 11 p.m., Chief Cathy L. Lanier said she could not confirm the identity of the man who was removed from the cold water in what she described as serious condition. He was taken to a hospital by helicopter.
Law enforcement sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said they thought the incident may be linked to a pornography investigation. In that inquiry, police have charged an officer with photographing a teenager. However, no link was confirmed.
In an appearance that underscored the interest in Tuesday night’s discovery, Lanier said police were “trying to get to the bottom of who this person is.”
She said that about 8:15 p.m., authorities received calls about someone who may have gone into the water. U.S. Park Police said an unattended vehicle was found in a parking lot, and a search of the water began, she said.
Authorities said a joint effort among D.C. police, the fire department and the park police located a man in the Washington Channel not far from where the vehicle was found.
Sgt. Lelani Woods, a spokeswoman for the park police, said that clothing was found near the vehicle.
Authorities want “to spend a little time [to] sort out what we have,” Lanier said.
Asked about any connection between the Hains Point incident and the pornography investigation, police spokeswoman Gwen Crump said she could not discuss that “at this time.”
Peter Hermann and Clarence Williams contributed to this report.