Park visitor’s body found in waterway
Virginia family was at Myrtle Point when 20-year-old man disappeared
A Virginia family’s visit last weekend to a St. Mary’s park ended in tragedy, with a search for a 20-year-old man that commenced Saturday afternoon and was followed the next day by the discovery of his body in a nearby waterway.
No foul play is suspected in the death of Manuel DeJesus Portillo Romero, according to the St. Mary’s sheriff’s deputies, who conducted the investigation at Myrtle Point Park in California, as volunteer firefighters went out in boats on the Patuxent River and the missing man’s relatives anxiously huddled at a picnic table
“My daughter said he went to look at the water,” Maria Romero said as the lookout for her son continued.
“He just was walking,” the young girl said.
The family from Alexandria, Va., made previous visits to the park, the mother said, and they arrived there at about 9:30 a.m. Saturday. They noticed about 90 minutes later that the young man was missing.
“They were packing up to leave, [and] they realized that he was no longer with them,” sheriff’s Cpl. Julie Yingling said Monday.
The circumstances of the man’s disappearance had not been confirmed, Yingling said, when 911 dispatchers received a call, listed on a dispatch log as shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday. “We went ahead and started a water search immediately,” the corporal said, one that also was assisted by Maryland Natural Resources Police, Maryland State Police and a helicopter crew.
“It was only [the] small child who actually saw him in the water,” Yingling said.
Saturday’s search stopped at about 5 p.m., the dispatch log states, due to worsening weather conditions.
The missing man’s body was located shortly after 4 p.m. Sunday when a homeowner discovered him, Yingling said, and a sheriff’s release described the location as an address off Half Pone Point Road near the mouth of Cuckold Creek.
The man’s body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Baltimore for an au- topsy to determine the cause and manner of his death. No results were available from the agency’s spokesperson on Tuesday morning.
The sheriff’s office has requested that anyone with further information on the matter to contact detective Brian Fennessey by calling at 301-4754200, ext. *8103, or by sending email to email@example.com.