Bethesda Teen Left House Party Before He Was Found Dead

Police spoke to him the night of the party, reported he might have been intoxicated


Walt Whitman High School

G. Edward Johnson/Wikimedia Commons

A 17-year-old boy spoke to police outside a house party in Bethesda the night before he was found dead in a nearby stream, according to police.

Navid Nicholas Sepehri, a senior at Walt Whitman High School, was reported missing Sunday after he didn’t return home Saturday night. His body was discovered in a wooded area Sunday afternoon.

Montgomery County police do not suspect foul play involved in his death, and an autopsy is being conducted to determine the manner and cause of his death. Officers who interacted with him Saturday night believed he might have been under the influence of alcohol.

Police responded to a possible underage drinking party at a house in the 6500 block of Elgin Lane at about 10:30 that night, and found a group of boys outside, according to a press release. A few ran away, but others remained to talk to police, including one later identified as Sepehri.

The interactions were recorded on body cameras.

The boys told police there had been a party at a house nearby, and that the parents who lived there had realized that uninvited guests had brought alcohol, according to police. The parents asked everyone to call their parents for rides and leave, and the boys explained they were waiting outside for their parents.

Recognizing Sepehri may have been under the influence, officers confirmed with the other boys that Sepehri “would leave when they left,” according to police.

They determined there were no applicable criminal or civil charges to place on the boys, and went to speak with the homeowners. An adult man was outside his home and confirmed that uninvited teens had come to the home. He told police he and a female resident asked everyone to call their parents for a ride and leave after they discovered alcohol was at the party.

The woman also spoke with the officers, according to police. The officers saw the back of the house, where the party appeared to have taken place.

A few hours later, at 3:23 Sunday morning, Sepehri’s father came to the Bethesda police station and spoke to an officer about his son not coming home, according to police. Police did not take a missing person report until 12:46 p.m. that day, and at that time initiated a search for Sepehri. 

His body was found just before 5 p.m. near the 6500 block of Laverock Lane, about half a mile from the house with the party.

Police wrote that there are additional details in the investigation that have not yet been confirmed.

Police have asked anyone with information to call 240-773-5070.

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