Riders on a Metro train in Prince George's County spotted something grisly and unexpected yesterday: a body floating in a creek that runs below the elevated Green Line tracks.
Reports were relayed to authorities, who went to the vicinity of the West Hyattsville Station about 4:30 p.m. and pulled the body, believed to be that of a man, from the Northwest Branch of the Anacostia River.
Prince George's police, who are investigating, said they did not know the cause of death.
Mike Hoffman, who was riding into the District, was one of those who spotted the body from the train windows.
"You could see the body floating in the water," he said. It was facedown and appeared to be that of a white-haired older man who was wearing blue jeans and a blue shirt, he said.
Hoffman said two other passengers had apparently spotted the body earlier and were retracing their trip to be certain. They then called on the conductor to stop the train, Hoffman said. The site is just south of the station and near Chillum and Queens Chapel roads.
Metro ran trains in the area on a single track while police used the second track during their investigation, Metro spokeswoman Cathy Asato said.
The spotting of the body appeared to be one of the most unusual events in the 29-year history of the 106.3-mile Metrorail system.
Asked whether she had heard of anything like it before, Asato said, "I have not."
Staff writer Arthur Santana contributed to this report.