Police rule North Hill body a homicide; no ID yet

Police investigators wearing white protective suits while in the woods.
Police work in the North Hill woods last week. (FCPD image)

The Fairfax County Police say it could take up to a month to identify the body found in the North Hill woods last week, but they treating the case as a homicide investigation.

The police offered few other details on the investigation into the death, which Chief Edwin Roessler said previously was likely related to gang activity.

“Detectives continue to investigate the circumstances that led to the discovery of a body last week in North Hill Park,” the FCPD said in a brief statement on Tuesday. “The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner has yet to positively identify the body or confirm the cause and manner of death.”

A police spokesman said Wednesday that no new information was available related to whether the body was male or female.

Police began searching for the body last Wednesday after detectives uncovered information the prior day that remains had been buried in the North Hill woods, which are located north of the intersection of Richmond Highway and Dart Drive (see map). On Thursday morning officers located the remains in grave that was described as “freshly dug.”

North Hill is a thickly wooded area that was once home to a trailer park. The 33-acre parcel borders the Mount Vernon Square Apartments and the Woodley Park trailer community to the south, and Bryant High School and residential area to the north. It has been vacant for decades, and while there are informal trails through the woods, the land is not technically a park.

No update on missing girl

Editor’s note: The missing girl mentioned here was found alive and safe, the FCPD announced June 17. Because she is a minor, her name and image have been removed.

A police spokesman said Wednesday that there is no new information on the search for a missing 16-year-old girl last seen in the Hybla Valley area on May 22.

[Name removed] is believed to be in danger, according to the FCPD. The West Potomac High School student is described as being 5 foot 5 inches tall and 145 pounds with black hair and dark eyes.

Last week police said there was no known connection between [Name removed] ‘s disappearance and the discovery of the body on North Hill. [Name removed] went missing after the police received their tip that a body was buried in North Hill.

A police spokesman said Wednesday that [Name removed]’s disappearance is not believed to be related to the disappearance of Abigail Jorge-Aguilar, who went missing from the Vienna area on May 31.