Teen girl's body found in dumpster in Columbia Heights

By Martin Weil
Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, November 30, 2010; 12:20 AM

The body of a young woman was found in a trash receptacle in Northwest Washington on Monday.

The body was in an alley behind the 1000 block of Fairmont Street in Columbia Heights, authorities said. The discovery was reported to police about 1 p.m.

The body, part of which was visible, was discovered by a passerby, said D.C. Council Member Jim Graham (D-Ward 1), who represents the area.

Little was known Monday night about the victim or how she died. Graham said it was not clear whether she had died in the alley or had been brought there afterward.

He said he understood the victim's age to be 16 to 18. No cause of death could be learned. Police said the death is being investigated by the violent crimes division.

"It's a terrible thing," Graham said. "It's extremely sad," he said. "So horrendous."

Neighborhood resident Edward Roach expressed his own shock as well as that of other area residents.

"I've been here for 21 years," he said, describing the area as quiet. "There have been robberies," he added, but for a body to turn up in a trash receptacle, "that has never happened."

The block where the body was found is bounded by Fairmont Street on the north and Euclid on the south, and by Sherman Avenue on the east and 11th Street on the west. The receptacle was behind a multi-unit apartment building near 11th and Fairmont.

One resident of the building said a neighbor told him of spotting the body. The resident recalled his neighbor telling him that he "saw tennis shoes sticking out."

When the neighbor was reached by phone, he declined to comment on the incident.

The ownership and description of the trash receptacle were unclear Monday night. According to some accounts, it has a hinged metal lid an might be privately owned.

Graham called on police to find those behind the incident.

"We've got to bring those people to justice," he said.


© 2010 The Washington Post Company