Missing teenager found dead in Bethesda

WASHINGTON — A 17-year-old boy reported missing Saturday night was found dead Sunday in a wooded area of Bethesda, Maryland, and detectives from the Montgomery County Police Department are seeking information on the case.

Police say the body of Navid Nicholas Sepehri, of Bethesda, was found in the 6500 block of Laverock Lane near the Bannockburn Swim Club around 5 p.m.

The teenager was reported as a missing person to the police department around 11:30 p.m. Saturday after he did not return home, according to police.

Police say the cause of Sepehri’s death is unknown at this time. Officials are asking anyone with information on the case to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.

The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will conduct an autopsy to determine the cause and manner of the teenager’s death, police said.

Sepehri was a senior at Walt Whitman High School, officials said. A support team of psychologists and counselors is at the school Monday to provide counseling and support to the students.

In a letter to parents, Alan Goodwin, the principal of Walt Whitman High School, wrote, “Initial information suggests Navid’s death may have been accidental, but we do not have details at this time.”

Below is the full letter the principal sent to parents:

Dear Whitman Community,

It is with sadness that I inform you of the death of Navid Sepehri, one of our 12th grade students. Initial information suggests Navid’s death may have been accidental, but we do not have details at this time. Navid’s sister, Nika, is a freshman at Whitman, as well.

For those of you who knew Navid, we ask that you remember and celebrate his love of art and commitment to others. For those of you who did not know Navid, we ask that you support Navid’s friends and family during this time of loss.

It is very difficult for all of us to face the death of a young person. Monday, a support team of psychologists, counselors, and pupil personnel workers from Montgomery County Public Schools will work with our staff members to provide counseling and support to students. Students who need additional support should contact their school counselor. Counselors will be available in the media center all day.

Your child may be coming home with questions and worries. Our community has experienced a tremendous loss in the last weeks. I am confident in our ability to support one another as we grieve the loss of Navid. Please be attentive to each other and keep our staff informed of any way we can support our students.

I know you join me in extending our heartfelt sympathy to Navid’s family. When we receive word regarding funeral arrangements, I will share the information with you. Again, please do not hesitate to contact the school at 301-320-6600 if you have any concerns or questions.

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