6th District Officers Locate Missing Autistic Child – Prevent Tragedy

Lakes behind Club House Road

On April 28, at 2:56 p.m., officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 6th District, were called to the 19500 block of Worsham Court in Gaithersburg, for the report of a missing child with autism.

The parents of the child were very proactive in watching out for their child, but the child still was able to leave the residence.  The family notified police as soon as they realized the child was gone, prompting the immediate response by the officers. The  critical nature of the call was recognized by the officers and they quickly began canvassing the area.  Officers, including K9 units, searched the area in vehicles and on foot.

Around 3:30 p.m., approximately a half hour into the search, three officers were walking on foot, searching the paths and shorelines in the area around the lake behind Club House Road.  They spotted the missing child in the lake, sitting in the shallow part of the lake and pulled the child to safety.  Other than being wet and cold, the child was unharmed and physically fine.

If not for the intervention of the officers, this incident could have ended in tragedy.  Thankfully, the child was reunited with family, safe and sound.



Department Statement Regarding Increased Security at Mosques

The Montgomery County Department of Police have received numerous inquiries regarding a press release by a Montgomery County council member concerning a request for increased security at local mosques during Ramadan.

In keeping with the department’s long established commitment to protect and enhance public safety, we continue to work closely with our faith partners across many denominations to help provide for secure, safe and vibrant communities for worship.

The Montgomery County Department of Police does not disclose security plans publicly, as such discussions may diminish – not enhance –  the safety of our residents.

For years, we have been working with numerous members of the faith community to establish and maintain open, honest and strong lines of communication and to work in partnership to help maintain safety at places of worship, especially during holy days.  We will continue to utilize established law enforcement techniques to assist in this endeavor and work in concert with these communities to enhance our relationships even further.



Missing Rockville Man Found Deceased

On April 21, 2019, officers from the Montgomery County Department of Police – 1st District, responded to the 4900 block of Sweetbirch Drive in Rockville to assist the Maryland-National Capital Park Police with a call for the found remains of an adult male.  The body of the adult male had been discovered in a creek bed.

Today, the Montgomery County Department of Police – Major Crimes Division, have identified the remains as Michael Lee Higgins, age 29, of Rockville.  Higgins had been reported missing and was last seen by family members on February 25, 2019.

The preliminary investigation by detectives does not indicate any signs of foul play in the death of Higgins.  Autopsy results are pending.

Detectives ask anyone with information regarding Michael Lee Higgins or this incident to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5070.




Concern for Missing Wheaton Teenager (LOCATED)

Cristal Tavara Samaniego

UPDATE:  Cristal has been located safe and sound.  Thanks to all who spread the word!

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Special Victims Investigations Division are asking the public for help in locating a missing Wheaton teenager.

Cristal Tavara Samaniego, age 14, was last seen by family on Wednesday, April 24, when she left her Georgian Way home on foot.  Samaniego is described as a Hispanic female who is 5’ 6” tall and weighs 100 pounds.  She has brown eyes and black hair.

Police and family are concerned for Samaniego’s welfare.

Anyone who has information regarding the whereabouts of Cristal Tavara Samaniego is asked to call the Montgomery County Police Special Victims Investigations Division at 240-773-5400 or the police non-emergency number at 301-279-8000 (24 hours).


Detectives Investigate Credit Card Fraud Related to Earlier Bethesda Home Invasion Robbery; Surveillance Photographs of Separate Suspect Released

Separate suspect who fraudulently used victim’s stolen credit cards following Bethesda home invasion robbery

Detectives from the Montgomery County Department of Police – Major Crimes Division continue to investigate the March 30 robbery that occurred inside a home in Bethesda.  During this home invasion robbery, a male suspect stole the victim’s purse which included her credit cards.  Today, investigators are releasing surveillance photographs of a separate male suspect who fraudulently used the victim’s credit cards after the robbery and are asking for the public’s help in identifying him.

On Saturday, March 30 at approximately 4:46 a.m., 2nd District officers responded to a residence in the 6800 block of Wisconsin Avenue for the report of a home invasion robbery that had just occurred.

The investigation by detectives determined that earlier in the evening, the adult female victim had been out with friends in the downtown Bethesda area when she ordered a ridesharing service back to her residence.  The suspect arrived at the victim’s location and the victim got into the suspect’s vehicle believing that he was the driver for the rideshare that she had ordered.  The suspect drove the victim to her residence and demanded payment.  The victim stated to detectives that she told the driver that she had paid for the rideshare through the rideshare’s app and that she did not owe the driver additional money.  The suspect followed the victim into her apartment building and then followed her into an elevator.  While in the elevator, the suspect unsuccessfully attempted to steal the victim’s purse.   The suspect then followed the victim off the elevator and into her apartment.   Once in the victim’s apartment, the suspect stole property and then fled.

At approximately 10:00 a.m. that morning, the separate male suspect was captured on store surveillance video fraudulently using the victim’s credit cards to purchase merchandise at stores in Arlington, Virginia and Landover, Maryland.

Anyone with information about this suspect or the home invasion robbery is asked to call the Major Crimes Division at 240-773-5100 or Crime Solvers of Montgomery County toll-free at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477). Crime Solvers will pay a cash reward of up to $10,000 for information provided to them that leads to an arrest in this case. To be eligible for a reward, tipsters must call Crime Solvers. Callers may remain anonymous.


Separate suspect who fraudulently used victim’s stolen credit cards following Bethesda home invasion robbery