A 53-year-old woman from China who was in the area visiting relativesdied Friday after being pulled from the Potomac River in Great Falls, according to Montgomery County police.
The woman was identified as Karjia Jiang. Police said she had been staying in Great Falls, on the Virginia side of the park that runs along the Maryland border.
Montgomery County Police Capt. Paul Starks, a department spokesman, said Jiang’s relatives had left Friday morning to go shopping. He said Jiang wrote a note saying she was going for a walk in Great Falls.
She was spotted in the Potomac River shortly before 10 a.m., between Great Falls and Mather Gorge, according to Starks. U.S. Park Police sent up a helicopter, and Montgomery County firefighters pulled her to safety using a boat.
Starks said rescuers took her to shore at a boat ramp at the Old Angler’s Inn restaurant on MacArthur Boulevard. Police said she died at a hospital shortly after arriving.
Starks said family members told detectives that Jiang did not know how to swim. He said she had dressed appropriately for the weather. A cause of death is pending the results of an autopsy.
The police captain said investigators have not determined how Jiang ended up in the water. The gorge is lined by cliffs and has many popular hiking trails.
This item has been updated.