Cadaver Dogs Search Second Building Near Southeast DC Burial Site

Police broke into a wall with pickaxes and a chainsaw after the dogs appeared to indicate something suspicious

What to Know

  • Construction crews unearthed the remains of a woman underneath a southeast D.C. apartment building on Wednesday, sparking an investigation.
  • The remains of two other unidentified women were found buried nearby on Saturday.
  • Police continue to search the neighborhood and plan to cut down nearby trees to continue the investigation.

As investigators work to identify the remains of three women found in Southeast D.C. last week cadaver dogs on Tuesday indicated the presence of something suspicious at a second location next door.

Minutes after the dogs entered the building on the 100 block of Wayne Place southeast on Tuesday, police brought in chainsaws and pickaxes to break through a wall. They entered a crawl space area in the basement — similar to the basement of another building where a construction crew last Wednesday unearthed a human skull. 

The medical examiner's office determined the remains were of a woman who has not been identified.

Cadaver dogs investigated the building and surrounding area further. The dogs led investigators to a wooded area near the building where the remains of two women were found buried together in a shallow grave. Those two women have also not yet been identified.

Police returned with the dogs Tuesday, expanding the search into nearby backyards in addition to the second building. It's unclear if police found any evidence in the second building.

Officials plan to cut down some trees in the area beginning Wednesday to further search for evidence.

Although few details are confirmed at this point, homicide detectives are investigating.

"It's an undetermined death at this point, but circumstances certainly rise to the level of suspicious, so our homicide unit is involved," D.C. Police Chief Peter Newsham said Monday at a press conference.

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