A Bethesda teenager found dead of alcohol poisoning in a frigid stream after a party last month had been carrying two fake Pennsylvania driver’s licenses that indicated he was old enough to buy alcohol, Montgomery County police said Monday.
A bottle of vodka, found in the teenager’s pocket after his death, probably was purchased outside of the county, police officials said.
The officials continue to investigate the death of Navid Sepehri, 17, and on Monday in a statement called it “a tragedy not only for his family and friends but also for the greater community.”
Just before 5 p.m. on Dec. 10, Sepehri’s father, Frank, after searching for more than 14 hours, found his son’s body in a small ravine between a row of suburban houses and a swim club in the Bannockburn neighborhood of Bethesda. An autopsy later showed that Navid died of acute alcohol intoxication, complicated by hypothermia and drowning.
Since his death, the Sepehri family and others have raised questions about where Navid got alcohol; what role, if any, the homeowners hosting a teen party played; and whether police could have done more when they talked with Navid the evening of the party.
The night before Navid’s body was found, at least two county officers interacted with him outside a party on Elgin Lane in Bethesda about 10:30 p.m. He appeared to be drunk, police said in a previous statement, but he was not taken into custody.
Police have indicated that Navid and his friends told officers they were waiting for rides home from parents.
Police officials said Monday they were making arrangements for the family to view body-worn camera footage that captured officers speaking with Navid outside the Elgin Lane home.
Five hours after that exchange outside the party, about 3:30 a.m. on Dec. 10, a different officer outside a police station spoke with Navid’s father, who was out looking for his son when he hadn’t come home and who had gone to the station’s parking lot, according to Montgomery County police and Frank Sepehri. No missing person’s report was taken.
The exact conversations between the officers and the teens outside the party and the officer and Navid’s father are not known, and the department said Monday it “is examining the actions of the police officers who encountered” Navid and his father.
How Navid got the alcohol, police said Monday, remains under review, but markings on the bottle indicate that it was purchased outside the county. Police officials also said it does not appear that the homeowners were the source.
“There is no indication that the homeowners furnished alcohol to the underage attendees,” police wrote in the Monday statement. “The homeowners stated to responding officers that when it became apparent to them that alcohol had been brought into the party by minors, they told the partygoers that no alcohol was allowed. The homeowners then contacted some of the attendees’ parents.”
Police said the homeowners’ account was supported by at least one of the people at the party.
“There will be no charges placed against the homeowners as there were no violations of the law observed by officers,” police said.
Navid’s family members were not immediately available for comment Monday.