A body found in the District may be that of a missing ninth-grader from Frederick, Maryland.
Tuscarora High School sent a letter to parents saying Eberson Guerra Sanchez was found dead in D.C. over the weekend, but police said they have been unable to identify the body found near the Chain Bridge in Northwest Saturday evening.
“I know what they’re saying, but it’s too early to make a positive identification,” Metropolitan Police Department Chief Peter Newsham said. “The victim’s face was so badly beaten, a positive identification will take more time”
Sanchez’s family filed a missing person report with Frederick police Friday night. He had not been seen nor heard from since about 6 p.m. that day.
The killer bludgeoned the victim with something like a machete, law enforcement sources familiar with the investigation said.
The victim had traumatic injuries to his body, head and neck, police said. One of his hands was cut off and the other was barely intact.
The body was discovered near popular walking and biking trails. The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal Towpath runs directly under Chain Bridge.
On Tuesday, investigators focused on blue and white bags tied to trees marking a trail leading to an enclave in the woods also surrounded by blue and white bags. Forensics experts removed the bags as evidence.
Blue and white are the colors of MS-13.
Tuscarora’s principal said there’s no reason to believe the death had any connection to the school.
A student told News4 Sanchez had only attended Tuscarora for a matter of months and believed he was from El Salvador.
Grief counselors were at the school Thursday.
Police have said they believe the victim was Hispanic and between the ages of 16 and 30. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, blue jeans and white sneakers.
Anyone who was in the area Saturday who may have seen something should contact police.