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Teen's death is subject of probe

March 15, 1999

Harold Harbaugh is as puzzled as everyone else about how his 17-year-old son Richard Wayne Harbaugh died. But he has a theory.

Two bikers on Saturday found Richard Harbaugh's body in a car near an unoccupied hunting cabin off Crystal Falls Drive, according to Washington County Sheriff's deputies.

"I believe he was probably partying after he got off work March 6 and maybe fell asleep in his car and was overcome by carbon monoxide," Harold Harbaugh said Monday afternoon.

The family and deputies were awaiting results of an autopsy that was to be performed by the Maryland State Medical Examiner's office in Baltimore.

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The son of Harold and Teresa Harbaugh of 103 W. Water St., Smithsburg, Richard was described by his father as a "healthy boy."

Richard was last seen on Saturday, March 6.

"He was employed at Vince's Pizza in Smithsburg and was working that Saturday," said Investigator Chris Weaver.

Bikers found him at 4:46 p.m. Saturday, March 13. The body was found lying in the passenger side of a gray 1990 Geo Storm, Weaver said.

"There were no signs of foul play," Weaver said. He said he wasn't sure if the ignition was on or off in the car.

There was nothing apparent that could have caused his death, Weaver said. No drugs were found in the car.

A toxicology scan was to be preformed, Weaver said.

Harbaugh had dropped out of Smithsburg High School.

Anyone who might have seen Harbaugh during the week he was missing may contact Weaver at 301-791-3020, ext. 122.

- Marlo Barnhart

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