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Man found dead in creek is identified

May 15, 2001

Man found dead in creek is identified



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI

kimy@herald-mail.com

Hagerstown City Police said Monday they had identified the body of a man found lying in Antietam Creek a day earlier, but still don't know how he came to be in the water.

Police Chief Arthur Smith said the body had been identified as that of David George Grams, 33, of no fixed address by checking his fingerprints on a police computer.

"It looks to me like he drowned," Medical Examiner Dr. Edward Ditto III, said.

Grams had water in his lungs and had a small bruise on the right side of his forehead, Ditto said.

Ditto said results of toxicology tests are expected in a few days.

The condition of the body indicated that Grams had been in the 60-degree water for between 48 and 72 hours, said Ditto.

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Youngsters on Sunday found the man lying on his side in a few inches of water on top of the dam near the old city Light Plant, said Smith.

They ran to the nearby 1st Urban Fiber security building and told a security guard what they'd found. The guard called police at 1:11 p.m., Smith said.

"There doesn't appear to be a strong indication of foul play," Smith said.

Grams, who was not a Hagerstown native, was working as a laborer at Bonded Applicators on Cleveland Avenue, according to Smith.

Family members in Harford, County, Md., were notified Monday of Grams' death, he said.

Smith said police hadn't determined at what point Grams entered the creek.

The death is "less suspicious that it was yesterday," said Smith.

Grams did not appear to have been fishing and no fishing equipment was found near the body, he said.

He was dressed in shorts, a T-shirt and sandals.

Hagerstown City Police detectives and city forensic expert Jeff Kercheval spent Sunday afternoon scouring the banks of both sides of the creek and taking pictures but did not find any significant evidence, said Smith.

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