WASHINGTON – Police are searching for answers after a body was found near children’s playground equipment at an Alexandria park on Monday morning.
Alexandria police were called to Beverly Park on North Overlook Drive around 8 a.m. after a person walking through the park found an unresponsive man.
Crystal Nosal, public information officer with the Alexandria Police Department, said the body is that of a 24-year-old Hispanic man from Alexandria. His name is not being released until his next of kin are notified.
“In this neighborhood, this type of crime is unheard of,” Nosal said.
Before the Monday’s discovery, only three crimes had been reported in the park over the past two years, all minor, Nosal says.
Nosal says that investigators with the help of Virginia State Police scoured the park for clues. Officers also talked to people who live nearby to see whether they witnessed or heard anything that would help in the investigation.
So far, Nosal said, nothing has been ruled out, including gang activity.
“We have to go into this investigation with an open mind,” Nosal said.
At a meeting for the North Ridge Citizens Association on Monday night, Nosal said, the city’s police chief reassured residents and asked them be vigilant and to call police if they see anything suspicious.
At the meeting, residents also wanted to know what will be done to clean up the scene of the crime, to make sure the playground is a safe place for their children to play.
Nosal said city crews are working to clean and sanitize the park. When the cleaning process is complete, the playground will be reopened.
The case marks Alexandria’s third murder of the year.
Alexandria Police Department asks anyone with information about the case to call them at 703-746-6853.