A decomposed body found in western Maryland has been identified as that of a man who disappeared from the District last year, the Maryland state police said. They said homicide detectives are investigating.
The state police said Tuesday that the man had been positively identified as Ariel Arnaldo Espinal, 27, who was reported missing from the Washington area last October.
His body was found April 21 by campers near Hoop Pole Road, in Little Orleans, Md. It was about 15 or 20 feet from the road, and down an eight-foot embankment, the state police said. Dense woods flank the road, which is about 100 miles northwest of Washington.
The police said the body showed possible trauma.
It was clothed when found and was taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy. As a result of decomposition, medical records and x-rays were used to make a positive identification, the state police said.
No cause of death was listed in a statement released Tuesday by the state police.
D.C. police said he was last seen in the city about 2 p.m. Oct. 8 in the 5000 block of New Hampshire Avenue NW.
At the time of his disappearance, D.C. police described him as a “critical” missing person, but their statement did not explain why the case was considered critical.