Police identify woman who died after rescue from Potomac River -- Gazette.Net


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Montgomery County detectives have identified a woman who died after a rescue from the Potomac River on Friday as a Chinese guest visiting relatives in Virginia.

Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service responders pulled Karjia Jiang, 53, from the cold waters of the Potomac River on Friday, but efforts to revive her failed, officials said.

Jiang had been visiting from China and staying with relatives in the 9100 block of Sterling Montague Drive in Great Falls, Va., according to a press release from the Montgomery County Police Department. She had told her family before the incident that she was talking a walk in Great Falls National Park. Police had no new information on how or where Jiang entered the water and detectives are classifying her death as undetermined at this time. No foul play is suspected, according to the press release.

The rescue took place sometime before 9:30 a.m. when Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service reponders received a call for a person in the river between Great Falls and Mather Gorge, said rescue service spokesman Assistant Chief Scott Graham.

At Great Falls, the river builds up speed and force as it falls over a series of steep, jagged rocks and flows through the gorge, the narrowest section on the lower Potomac River, according to the National Park Service’s website.

Boat units and a helicopter pulled Jiang from the water and rushed her to Suburban Hospital in Bethesda where she was pronounced dead shortly after 10:30 a.m., said Capt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for Montgomery County police.

“Police are investigating the matter; we investigate all unattended deaths,” Starks said, adding that the investigation did not necessarily mean foul play is suspected. “If somebody died in their bed at home and they were unattended by a physician we would do the same thing.”

Police requesting that anyone with information about how or where Jiang entered the Potomac River to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070. Callers may remain anonymous.

Staff Writer Lindsey Robbins contributed to this report.

jarias@gazette.net