Prince George's County police, combing thick underbrush near the banks of the Patuxent River, found a body yesterday believed to be that of an elementary schoolteacher missing since at least Wednesday.
Because of its condition, the body had not been identified, but police said they believe it may be that of Jacqueline Rose Roberson, a 28-year-old Bowie woman whose car was found by police Tuesday on Governor Bridge Road about 50 yards from where the body was found.
"No one has identified the body yet," said Capt. Jack San Felice, a police spokesman, "so we just cannot say anything with certainty except that it is the body of a white female."
About 50 police recruits, detectives and mounted Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning officers combed through underbrush and trees near the Izaak Walton League Center in Patuxent River Park south of Rte. 50 before they found the body.
The search for Roberson began Wednesday night, after her sister-in-law told police that Roberson, who lived with her husband on Edmonds Way, apparently had not been home for a couple of days, said police spokesman Robert Law. Her husband was out of town on business until yesterday morning, Law said.
A day earlier, an officer found Roberson's car on Governor Bridge Road about one mile east of Rte. 301, Law said. The keys were on the front seat, he said, and the window on the driver's side was open.
Police linked the missing person to the abandoned brown 1983 Chevrolet Celebrity about 10 p.m. Wednesday, Law said, and searched the area where the car had been found with a state police helicopter and police dogs. They returned yesterday morning, and discovered the body about 1:30 p.m.
Police said that Roberson, a teacher at Admore Elementary School and a volunteer youth counselor for the city of Bowie, told her mother Monday morning that she was going to Allen's Pond to wax her car.
"There was no apparent evidence of foul play in the car, no blood or anything like that," Law said. "There was still wax on parts of the car, so we believe that she had been to Allen's Pond."
Law said that Allen's Pond in Bowie is a popular place for residents to wax their cars. "There is always a lot of traffic in that area, always people coming and going."
Allen's Pond is about five miles from where Roberson's car was found, police said.
The woman's body was sent to the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore for an autopsy, police said.