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Investigation continues in Boonsboro teen's death

July 23, 1998|By LISA GRAYBEAL

BOONSBORO - Police are still investigating the death of a Boonsboro High School student whose badly decomposed body was found Monday in a paper recycling bin in Rockville, Md., according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Investigators are awaiting test results, which are expected by the end of the week, that will tell whether Joshua Smith, 17, of 307 N. Main St., had been drinking or using drugs, officials said.

Friends said Smith had been partying with friends in the Keedysville area Friday night and then decided to stay at the Red Byrd Restaurant, Motel & Banquet Hall, where he worked part time as a cook, when plans to stay at a friend's house fell through.

That was the last time anyone saw him, friends said.

Two pairs of shorts, two shirts, a pair of shoes, a set of keys, a pager and a wallet, all belonging to Smith, were found at the Keedysville restaurant Saturday morning, according to Manager Jeff Hoffman.

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An employee of the Georgetown Paper Co. found a decomposed body while sorting through a paper recycling bin Monday, said Joyce Barrow, a spokesman for Montgomery County Police.

Clothing on the body matched the description of that worn by a teenager who was reported missing from the Keedysville area Sunday, according to the Washington County Sheriff's Department.

Because of the body's condition, police could not estimate the boy's age or even confirm his race, and had to use dental records to positively identify the body as Smith's, officials said.

An initial examination of the body revealed no signs of trauma and an autopsy conducted at the state medical examiner's office in Baltimore also did not point to foul play, officials said.

Smith, who would have entered his senior year at Boonsboro High this fall, wrestled and played football for the school. He worked two jobs and planned to join the military after graduation, friends said.

Anyone with information about Smith's death can call sheriff's Investigator Peter Lazich at 1-301-791-3300, extension 120.

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