(PIKESVILLE, MD) – The male body found in the Susquehanna River south of the Conowingo Dam last week has been positively identified, but investigators have found no connection between him and Phylicia Barnes, whose body was recovered more than three miles upriver on the same day.
The body has been identified as Darryl Harper, 53, of Richmond, Va. Members of the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division Latent Print Unit notified investigators late yesterday they had matched fingerprints from the body with prints entered in the National Crime Information Center database for missing persons.
The cause and manner of death for Harper have not been identified at this time. Further tests are being conducted by the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.
When the positive comparison of prints was made, State Police investigators contacted officials in the Richmond Police Department to assist with notifying Harper’s wife and to obtain further information. It was learned Harper’s wife reported him missing on April 15, 2011. Harper’s wife told investigators she and her husband had lived in Cheektowaga, New York until November 2009, when they moved to an apartment in Cockeysville, Md. They lived there until February 2011, when they moved to Richmond.
Harper’s wife said her husband left Richmond in early March 2011, to travel to their former apartment in Cockeysville to pick up items. She said she received a call from her husband in mid- March and that was the last time she talked with him.
Mrs. Harper told investigators a relative in the Harrisburg, PA area had called to tell her Darryl Harper had checked himself into a hospital in East Penn, PA, on the Susquehanna River, on March 25, 2011, requesting help with mental health issues. Police learned he stayed in the hospital one night. According to Mrs. Harper, her husband told a relative in March he was going to jump off a bridge. She said her husband had attempted suicide in 2006.
Maryland State Police investigators are continuing to review information concerning Darryl Harper. However, neither they nor Baltimore Police homicide detectives have found anything that would connect him to Phylicia Barnes or her disappearance. The investigation is continuing.