Fairfax County police found the body of Bharat P. Patel, 40, in the 11900 block of Winterthur Lane about 2 p.m. Saturday in thick bushes surrounding a power box at the apartment complex where he lived, police said.
Officers initially responded to a call for a fight in that block at 12:45 a.m., but did not find any sign of one, police said. About an hour later, police said a missing person report was made at Hunter Woods Plaza, which is less than a half-mile from the site of the earlier call.
The officer realized that the description of the missing person matched that of one of the people allegedly involved in the fight on Winterthur Lane, so he went back to investigate, said Officer Eddy Azcarate, a police spokesman.
The officer found Patel’s body in the bushes, Azcarate said. Patel suffered trauma to his upper body, but police are not releasing the cause and manner of his death. Azcarate said police are investigating several possible motives for his killing, but declined to discuss them.
The suspect is described as an Indian male about 5’5” tall. He is 25 to 35 years old with a thin build. Police said he was wearing blue jeans and a long-sleeve gray shirt with a thin orange stripe down the sleeves.
Azcarate said several people had called police about the initial fight and were able to offer a description of the suspect.
A spokeswoman for Dunkin’ Donuts said Monday that Patel was a franchisee and had opened a store in Hunter Woods Plaza less than a week ago. The company also released a statement:
“We send our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Bharat. This tragedy impacts all of us at Dunkin’ Donuts, especially those who had the pleasure to work with him on a daily basis.”
Anyone with information about the person in the above images is asked to call Fairfax County police Detective Robert Bond of the Homicide Squad at 703-246-4057 or Robert.Bond@fairfaxcounty.gov.