Montgomery County Police detectives are investigating the discovery of human skeletal remains found Sunday in Brookeville.
A passerby alerted police at 5:15 p.m. Sunday after noticing what he believed to be human bones while walking his dogs in a wooded area in the 19500 block of Georgia Avenue in Brookeville. Officers responded to the area and located a shallow grave that contained skeletal remains.
The discovery has left Brookeville local residents on edge.
“This is a scary sort of business in a town this small,” said former state senator and Brookeville resident Karen Montgomery. “Even if they are not from here, a person dumped a body here. It makes for a lot of tension.”
Police said in a press release that they believe the unidentified remains belonged to an adult who died less than a year ago. An autopsy will be conducted by staff at the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Baltimore to determine the cause and manner of death.
MCP Spokesperson Sgt. Rebecca Innocenti said officers found the remains on the east side of the 19500 block of Georgia Avenue, south of Market Street, across the street from Salem United Methodist Church, but she would not confirm the exact location.
However, local residents who spoke with the Sentinel said the makeshift burial site sits directly behind the Salem United Methodist Church Cemetery, located on the east side of Georgia Avenue abutting a large wooded area.
A man who works in Brookeville and asked not to be identified, said a police car and other vehicles were parked at the bottom right side of the cemetery Monday evening, a day after the remains were found.
“There was a police car and three or four other cars there for at least an hour-and-a-half,” the man said. “The time was between 4:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., approximately.”
According to Montgomery, the wooded area behind the cemetery is difficult to locate.
“It's not easy to get back there,” Montgomery said. “Some people walk their dogs there. You kind of have to know your way around.”
Innocenti said part of the investigation would include a review of missing persons from the area.
Detectives are urging anyone who may have information regarding this death to contact the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070 or contact Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Callers may remain anonymous.