The body of a Bethesda teen who died after an alleged underage drinking party at an Austrian diplomat's home Saturday night was found by his own father after a day-long search Sunday.
Now, Farshid Sepehri is appealing for witnesses to come forward with any information about what happened, including information on adults who may have sold or furnished alcohol to teens.
Sepehri is also criticizing the Montgomery County Police Department's handling of the case. Mr. Seperhi said he found his son Navid face-up in a shallow stream on Sunday behind the Bannockburn Swim Club about a half-mile from where the party occurred 19 hours earlier.
The 17-year-old Walt Whitman High School senior had a bottle of vodka in his pocket when he was discovered dead from apparent drowning in the shallow stream, his father said.
"This is the biggest disaster of my life," said Mr. Sepehri
According to the father, his son Navid was questioned by police when they broke up a party the night before at the nearby home of Austrian diplomat Christian Grinschgl on Elgin Lane.
Despite witnesses who said Navid was obviously intoxicated, Sepehri says police did not call his family to come get their son or take action against the hosts.
Mr. Grinschgl had no comment when contacted by WUSA9.
Mr. Sepehri claims police made a lackluster search effort for his son the following day. He questions why police have failed to charge the suspected adult hosts of the party where underage drinking was reported by a caller to 9-1-1.
Teen witnesses say partiers scattered and none were cited for underage drinking by police. Police have not responded to the allegations.
Mr. Sepehri gave the following account of events leading up to his discovery of his son's body Sunday afternoon:
- Navid attended the party in the 6500 block of Elgin Lane which was broken up by police at about 10:40 pm Saturday evening.
- After speaking with police, an obviously intoxicated Navid left the party with a group of friends.
- Navid was seen in the parking lot of a 7 Eleven at the intersection of Goldsboro Road and MacArthur Boulevard after teens scattered from the party.
- Mr. Sepehri says he does not know how his son then found his way to the Bannockburn Swim Club, which is about a half-mile from the store, and an equal distance from the scene of the party. He also does not know if his son was accompanied by anyone to the area.
- Mr. Sepehri says he immediately began searching for his son and calling Navid's friends Sunday morning when he discovered Navid had not come home the night before. He said he went to the home on Elgin Lane where the party occurred Sunday morning and spoke to an adult woman at the house who said she was there the night of the party and had called police herself when older teens including Navid began showing up.
- Sepehri said he went into the woods behind the swim club on his own after police left the area because it was getting dark. He found his son's body just before sunset, 18 hours after the party had been broken up by police.
- Sepehri said he directed police to the area based on data from a "find my phone" function on his son's phone, which had died overnight.
- Sepehri said investigators have told him a preliminary cause of death appears to be drowning but a complete autopsy including a toxicology report indicating the suspected presence of alcohol is not finished.