Body Found in Vacant SW Apartment

Surveillance Camera Outside Unit Not Operational

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MPD Chief Peter Newsham speaks about the body found on the 200 block of M Street SW the morning of Tuesday, Aug. 30. Image: pscp.tv /Screenshot https://www.pscp.tv/w/1YpKkYOVQlwJj

Police have identified the body of a teenaged boy found dead in a vacant unit in a building at the Greenleaf Gardens Apartment Complex early in morning of Friday, Aug. 30.

Maintenance crews found the body of 16-year-old Domonique Franklin, a resident of Southeast DC, a little after 8:30 a.m. Friday morning. The crew was returning to complete work they had begun on the unit the previous day.

Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) officers said the body was found in an unoccupied unit in a mid-rise apartment building on the 200 block of M Street SW that is part of the complex.  Police said that it appears he was killed by a gunshot.

Greenleaf Gardens is 493-unit affordable housing complex in Southwest owned and operated by the District of Columbia Housing Authority (DCHA). According to an article published in the August issue of the Hill Rag, 89 of Greenleaf’s total 493 units are vacant.

It was possible the young man had been killed sometime Monday night or very early Tuesday morning, said MPD Chief Peter Newsham.

Initially, police did not know the name of the deceased. Speaking late Friday morning, Newsham said that the victim appeared to be very young. “He looks like he’s in his late teens, so we don’t know if [he is] a juvenile or not,” Newsham said. “Of course, as soon as we get that information, we’ll share it.”

it was about 5 p.m. Friday evening when police announced that they had identified the deceased.

Officers found that a well-placed security camera on the property was not working, said Newsham.

“You know, it’s very frustrating, we have a camera that sits right over the apartment and it appears that camera is not operational,” Newsham said. “This is DC Housing Authority property, so we’re going to make an inquiry to them as to find out why that camera was not operating. A camera like that could be useful in [the investigation].”

The death of such a young person is ‘just heartbreaking’, said the Newsham. This type of case impacts the officers who investigate quite personally, he added.

“What it does is it gives us the energy to find out who’s responsible,” Newsham said.

The Hill Rag has reached out to DCHA for comment. This story will be updated when a response is received.

Police are looking for any information, photographs or video that can help with the case. Investigators can be reached at (202) 299-2025.  Alternatively, information can be forwarded to investigators by contacting the Metropolitan Police Department’s Command Information Center at (202) 727-9099 or the Text Tip Line by texting 50411.

The Metropolitan Police Department currently offers a reward of up to $25,000 to anyone that provides information which leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for any homicide committed in the District of Columbia.

This story was written based on initial reports from MPD made about 10 a.m. Friday, Aug. 30th and updated Friday evening, when MPD announced the identification of the deceased.