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Clues sought in boat burning

July 14, 1998

A 19-foot pleasure boat was untied from its dock in West Virginia early Saturday, taken to the Big Slack Water area of the Potomac River near Downsville and set on fire, according to Maryland Natural Resources Police.

The boat, a 1995 model inboard-outboard 180 horsepower Ebbtide, was white with a blue racing stripe. It was completely destroyed and it sank.

Divers from Maryland Natural Resources Police recovered the charred remains of the boat Monday afternoon, said DNR spokeswoman Patty Manown Mash.

The wreckage will be examined for clues to the crime, she said.

Numbers found on the boat's hull were traced to a Chevy Chase, Md., owner who reported the boat missing on Saturday afternoon, Mash said.

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The owner found the boat missing from its locked dock mooring off Steeple Chase Lane in Berkeley County, W.Va., when checking on it Saturday. The lock had been broken.

The boat was insured, Mash said.

Estimated damage was not determined Monday.

"We would like to hear from the person who called Washington County 911 Saturday morning at 1:22 a.m. from a pay telephone at the Downsville General Store, reporting the fire," Mash said.

Mash said authorities hope that person will call back and answer some questions that might help in the investigation.

Anyone with information about the incident may call 1-800-628-9944.

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