Suspected explosive device leads to discovery of body in woods

By Derrick Perkins (File photo)

A possible explosive device left in a bag in a Hanson Lane homeowner’s backyard led police to discover what officials are describing as an “apparent suicide” Monday night.

Authorities descended on the 400 block after receiving a report of a suspicious package at about 6:16 p.m. After identifying the device as a potential explosive — and finding a handgun alongside it in the bag — city authorities were joined by Arlington County’s explosive ordinance unit.

A police helicopter from Fairfax County circled the normally quiet Rosemont neighborhood Monday night as authorities detonated the device. Nearby homes were evacuated as a precaution, officials said.

Around that time, the helicopter crew spotted a body in a nearby wooded area. Responding officers found the remains of a man who likely died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Authorities released a statement on Twitter that evening indicating the alleged suicide and potential explosive device were likely related incidents.

Though the helicopter could be heard in nearby Del Ray and Lynhaven, many closer neighbors had little indication of what was going on. Throughout the evening, local authorities referred members of the press to the city police department’s Twitter feed for updates, saying there was no risk to public safety.

“I just saw a lot of police,” said resident Lynne Weir, who reported getting unconfirmed updates about the situation from neighbors. “We heard a shot in the middle of the evening and followed, maybe an hour later, by another sound like a shot.”

Authorities have since identified the body as that of James Froman, 50, of Alexandria. Police ask anyone with information about the case to contact detective Thomas Buckley at 703-746-6837.

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