Human Remains Found on Q Street
Police, medical examiner's office were investigating Monday in construction zone atop what was once a stable, home in 1895.
Human remains were found Monday during construction behind 3333 Q St. NW in Georgetown.
Officers from the Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) and the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner (OCME) were investigating the finding Monday afternoon.
Get daily and breaking news email updates from Georgetown Patch by signing up for newsletters here.
An OCME officer on the scene told Patch there were "just some bones" and the investigation was "no big deal," referring additional questions to the MPD detective.
The detective, who was not authorized to speak on the record, was unwilling to disclose information about the investigation other than to say there was nothing for neighbors to worry about.
Local Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner Ed Solomon told Patch that the builder had found the bones while digging in the rear of the property on 33rd Street.
In 2012 the Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs issued permits for an inground swimming pool, for electrical work and for gas work at 3333 Q St., NW.
Peabody Special Collection records show a stable built in 1894 once stood on the lot and that the home was built in 1895. It was owned by M. A. Dugan when it was first constructed.
Jerry McCoy, Peabody Room special collections librarian at the Georgetown Branch Library, told Patch he was not entirely surprised to hear that human bones were found in lot on that block of Q Street. McCoy said there was once a Presbyterian cemetery where Volta Park now stands.
McCoy said homes on all sides of the park have made similar discoveries in the past, though he noted it is somewhat unusual for a home on the odd numbered side of Q street to have remains since the cemetery did not cross the street.
OCME will continue to work with MPD to determine whether the bones were a case of natural death or the result of a homicide. When human remains are found, MPD considers that location a crime scene, even if it eventually turns out the remains had been there for some time.
In some cases, the OCME works with Smithsonian forensic experts to examine remains to determine their age and any historic information that might be helpful in identifying whose bones they are, Sharlene Williams, a spokeswoman for OCME, told Patch.
Williams said if the remains cannot be identified the District generally holds them for 30 days to allow possible relatives to claim them. But if they are not claimed, the District partners with a funeral operator to dispose of them properly.
McCoy told Patch he would be interested in having the remains for the Peabody Room collection if there is no other rightful claim to them. Williams said her agency considers letters from interested parties such as historic organizations and churches with a "clear tie" to the remains.
Patch will provide updates as more information becomes available. If you know something about the discovery, contact editor Shaun Courtney at 202-210-9853 or email@example.com