VRE Official: Body Parts Found in Package on Track

Manassas Park Police say the Virginia Medical Examiner's Office is assisting the investigation.

Update: Medical Examiner's office said that the remains are not human. 

Original article: 

Human body parts were found in a package at mile marker 30.6 on the railroad tracks in Manassas Park, said Mark Roeber, manager of public affairs for Virginia Railway Express.

Roeber told Patch that Manassas Park Police informed VRE officials of the remains at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

All Amtrak and VRE trains were prevented from moving until police gave them clearance, VRE spokesman Mark Roeber said.

Manassas Park Police Chief John Evans said he couldn't confirm that body parts or human remains were found at the scene.

The department did later release a statement saying the Virginia Medical  Examiner's Office is assisting in the investigation.

It is not clear exactly where the package was found, but most of the police activity Wednesday evening was centered where the rails meet Manassas Drive, just a stone's throw from the actual Manassas Park VRE station and lot.

Evans wouldn't confirm that someone from the department told VRE officials that body parts were in the package.

Prince William County Police are assisting in the investigation.

As of result of police activity Manassas Drive, the small city's main thoroughfare, shut down Wednesday evening for several hours leaving residents upset and with few other options. Police reopened the roadway at about 10:30 p.m.

Patch readers report that other area roads were heavily congested due to the closure.

Pedestrians attempting to cross the tracks on foot to get to the VRE overflow lot at Manassas Park City Hall or to other locations were turned around by police who suggested they call rides for the long journey through Manassas, down Liberia Avenue and back into Manassas Park to their destinations on the other side of the tracks.

[Keep up with up-to-the-minute VRE updates on the Manassas Park Patch Facebook page.]

Trains were stopped south of the Burke station around 6:45 p.m. due to the police investigation. 

At 9:30 p.m. Wednesday Manassas Park Police allowed an Amtrak train from Manassas to move through the area—the first train to do so in hours.

VRE officials said that Amtrak had to move to allow the VRE train to get to Manassas.

Train No. 331—which normally arrives in Manassas Park at just after 5:30 p.m.—was the first to be on the move. Officials said Trains 333, 335, 337 would follow though most of those trains would likely be empty, because buses were called to transport riders home.  Riders that didn't take buses, got off at other stops and sought alternate forms of transportation home.

Patch will post more information as it becomes available. 

Related Content: VRE Trains Stopped South of Burke for Suspicious Package Investigation

Lauren Jost September 20, 2012 at 03:19 PM
Bystander, Here's what we have: http://manassaspark.patch.com/articles/police-remains-found-on-railroad-tracks-aren-t-human
Tommy Twochips September 20, 2012 at 03:29 PM
I'll bet the police try to cover up the obvious: they seriously over-reacted and did not really need to inconvenience several thousand commuters and travelers just to investigate this random site where someone left the unhappy package, whatever was in it.
Joe Roger September 20, 2012 at 05:35 PM
And what if it had it been human remains after a trained examiner made a determination? But the police were worried about inconviencing people, instead of protecting potential evidence that could lead to a crazy person? Get over it, commuting in the metro area sucks for less than this on an almost daily basis. If you want to get bent out of shape about something, get upset about people on 66 who slow down to look at accidents that occurred going IN THE OTHER DIRECTION, or people who don't understand what a QUIET train car is.
Tommy Twochips September 21, 2012 at 07:35 PM
So what if it were human remains? They seem to turn up in Manassas all the time these days. I just think it very unlikely to find any evidence about the perp fromthe tracks themselves, at least nothing that could not be found in daylight in the first hour or so. After that, they 're just wasting our time and, as it turns out, they were wasting their own, too, since the examination of the matieral later ruled out any crime beyond littering.
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