February 15, 2011 at 7:53 am EDT | by Lou Chibbaro Jr.
Park Police seek help in identifying body

U.S. Park Police are asking the public for help in identifying the body of a man found in a wooded area off of Branch Avenue and the Suitland Parkway who was wearing four rings on his left hand and multiple necklaces.

Park Police spokesperson Sgt. David Schlosser said investigators have no specific information to indicate the man was gay or transgendered, but they have yet to confirm what his sexual orientation was.

The man’s body was found Feb. 6 near where Branch Avenue and the Suitland Parkway intersect in Oxon Hill, Md., just over the D.C.-Prince George’s County line, according to a police statement. He is described as a black male over the age of 45, with a light complexion. The Maryland State Medical Examiner’s office said an autopsy found no evidence of foul play and said the death appears to have been due to natural causes.

“He was wearing four rings on his left hand and multiple necklaces around his neck,” a Park Police statement says. “He may have been homeless and may have walked with a limp,” the statement says.

Photos of his jewelry are available on the Park Police website www.uspppressroom.blogspot.com. Anyone with information that might help authorities identify the man should contact Park Police Det. Freeman at 202-610-8760.

Lou Chibbaro Jr. has reported on the LGBT civil rights movement and the LGBT community for more than 30 years, beginning as a freelance writer and later as a staff reporter and currently as Senior News Reporter for the Washington Blade. He has chronicled LGBT-related developments as they have touched on a wide range of social, religious, and governmental institutions, including the White House, Congress, the U.S. Supreme Court, the military, local and national law enforcement agencies and the Catholic Church. Chibbaro has reported on LGBT issues and LGBT participation in local and national elections since 1976. He has covered the AIDS epidemic since it first surfaced in the early 1980s. Follow Lou

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