Students Find Body in Anacostia Cleanup

By Theola Labbé-DeBose
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, October 31, 2008

A group of high school students from a private school in Northwest Washington discovered a body yesterday in the Anacostia River while they were cleaning up its shores as a community project.

The junior class from The Field School, comprising about 70 teenagers, was picking up trash and other debris in Marvin Gaye Park when several students saw a body in the water about 20 feet away, said Head of School Dale Johnson. The students notified a trip chaperone, and police were called to the Northeast Washington park, Johnson said.

Assistant Police Chief Diane Groomes said that the body was that of an adult male. There were no signs of trauma, Groomes said, and police are awaiting autopsy results. The man might have died from a drug overdose, Groomes added.

The private school, on Foxhall Road NW, has nearly 300 students in grades 7 to 12. Every fall, its junior class goes on a community service trip, Johnson said. The students were scheduled to be there for a few hours yesterday and were finishing up when the body was found.

Johnson said he was notified at 11:30 a.m. "The students handled themselves very well," he said.

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