Bone Found In Chest Off Stinky Beach In WOC

Bone Found In Chest Off Stinky Beach In WOC
Authorities are pictured Tuesday around noon at Homer Gudelsky Park in West Ocean City awaiting a dive team. Photo by Shawn Soper

WEST OCEAN CITY — More details have emerged Tuesday afternoon in the mysterious discovery of what is being described as a “seaman’s chest” containing possible human remains in the bay near Homer Gudelsky Park, or what is commonly known as Stinky Beach.

Around 9 a.m. on Tuesday morning, a couple from Ellicott City, Md., was walking on the beach and in the water off Stinky Beach, a narrow, sandy sliver of beach at the end of Old Bridge Road in West Ocean City, when they came across an odd discovery in the water.

“The couple was walking in the water and stumbled over something submerged,” said Worcester County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lieutenant Ed Schreier. “They described it as a chest or maybe a seaman’s chest. They couldn’t get it out of the water, so they opened it.”

Schreier said when the couple opened the chest, they found some personal items including a shoe, some pieces of pottery and a bone. He said it was uncertain at this point if the bone was a human remain. However, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner was contacted and was on the scene around midday on Tuesday.

The Worcester County Sheriff’s Office arrived on scene shortly after the discovery and has cordoned off a section of Stinky Beach with yellow police tape. The trunk or chest was still in the water around 1:30 p.m. The Maryland Natural Resources Police (NRP) dive team will carefully remove the chest from the water.

According to Schreier, the allied law enforcement agencies on the scene will have a better understanding of just what they are dealing with when the chest is removed from the water and the Medical Examiner’s Office has the opportunity to investigate the remains. However, removing the chest could be challenging.

“It is pretty corroded and decaying,” he said. “It is very fragile and it appears to have been in the water for a long time.”

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

About The Author: Shawn Soper

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Shawn Soper has been with The Dispatch since 2000. He began as a staff writer covering various local government beats and general stories. His current positions include managing editor and sports editor. Growing up in Baltimore before moving to Ocean City full time three decades ago, Soper graduated from Loch Raven High School in 1981 and from Towson University in 1985 with degrees in mass communications with a journalism concentration and history.