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Man Found Murdered in Alexandria Playground Identified

Sources say the man whose body was found in a playground in Northern Virginia Monday morning had had his throat cut.

A day later, the victim was identified as Jose Luis Ferman Perez, 24, of Alexandria. An autopsy has shown his cause of death to be chop and stab wounds to the head and neck.

A woman walking her dog discovered Perez's body about 8 a.m. in popular Beverley Park, at the intersection of S. Overlook and N. Overlook drives. The body was found under the bouncing bridge part of the playground equipment, near a slide.

Perez's death is being investigated as a homicide.

The park, known as "The Pit" for its sunken layout, is one of the busiest playgrounds in the area, full of toddlers during the day — but there has been gang violence in the adjacent neighborhood in the past year. It remains to be seen if this killing is related.

"It's certainly out of the norm for this area, and we're taking it very seriously," said Crystal Nosal, of the Alexandria Police Department.

Neighbors said they're upset.

"There are bad people doing bad things, and sometimes it's below people's radar," said resident Beth Lloyd, who said her grandchildren play in the park.

"I think it's astonishingly bad," she added. "I mean, I can't imagine."

Alexandria police Chief Earl Cook answered questions about the crime at a pre-scheduled community meeting held at an area church.

"We do not know whether or not any gang-related activity was associated with this death. We do not know if any drug-related activity was associated," he said. "We have no motive as yet."

Cleaning contractors sanitized surfaces in the playground on Monday and carried away cleaning materials in red biohazard bags.

Anyone with information about the case is asking to call Sgt. Sean Casey at 703-746-6853.

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