Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2008

Body found in Potomac identified

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The body of a man discovered in the Potomac River near Great Falls Park on Aug. 12 has been identified, Montgomery County police said in a statement.

An autopsy determined that drowning was the cause of death for Paul Richard Woods Jr., 48, of the 47300 block of McCarthy's Island Court in Sterling, Va.

Police are still unsure whether the manner of death was an accident or whether it was suicide, according to Lt. Paul Starks, a spokesman for the Montgomery County Police. Family members told investigators that Woods had been depressed, Starks said. "It's not enough to say if it was an accident, or if it might have been suicide," Starks said.

The discovery of Woods' body was reported shortly before 6:30 p.m. Aug. 12 by kayakers who were in the area of Post Marker 14 along a trail bordering the river.

Police were initially unable to identify the body. Police said he was wearing a blue T-shirt, tan Dickie shorts and white running shoes, and was not carrying identification. Woods' car was found parked in a parking lot on the Virginia side of the river, Starks said.

The body was recovered from the river by Montgomery County Fire and Rescue personnel. It had been in the river for several days, Starks said.

There was no evidence of foul play, police said.