City Desk

Is That a Sunbather? A Mannequin? No, It’s a Dead Body


Andrea Green took some friends up on an invitation to drop by their soon-to-be new condo in Adams Morgan for a tour last Saturday. But when she got there, her two pals, who'd arrived at the all-but-purchased place with their realtor, weren't exactly enjoying their time in the swank unit. The three had just spotted a dead body.

To Green, the whole thing felt like the opening scene of a TV show. "I think we're all jaded by CSI," says the finance director. "It was almost not real."

When Green walked into the condo, the window shades were drawn. Her friends had closed them to obscure the sight of the man lying dead—and naked—on a third-floor balcony of a townhouse about five buildings over. She looked out. Dusk was settling in, she says, so she couldn't see him very well.

Green's friend Allan Imbraguglio, on the other hand, got a clear view. He had arrived about an hour earlier to take some interior measurements of his future home. There was plenty of light then to see the corpse. "His arm was up and around the railing, another arm was around the chair," he says. "It looked like someone had carried him out there." Imbraguglio also says he noticed some bruises on the corpse.

When he and the others first spotted the guy, Imbraguglio says, they pegged him as a sunbather. When it sunk in how unlikely that was—it was cold out, and the man wasn't moving a muscle—they concluded instead he was a mannequin. When that theory began to feel thin, too, they went with their next instinct—and called the police.

Imbraguglio and Green now know the body was that of David Dorsey, the Corcoran Gallery of Art's director of finance.

Imbraguglio says that, despite the traumatic experience, he still plans to move into the condo. "We moved to D.C. 20 years ago when it was considered the murder capital of the world," he says. "Things happen in life."

Metropolitan Police Department Homicide Branch Captain Michael Farish tells City Desk via email that Dorsey probably wasn't murdered: "I am not at liberty to discuss in any detail this case with non-family members, but I can say that there is NO indication of foul play in Mr. Dorsey’s death through our death investigation or what the DCMEO [D.C. Medical Examiner's Office] has been able to determine at this point."

Photo by Tony Webster Creative Commons Attribution License

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  • Sad

    A 15 year old is murdered in Southeast and barely a peep but a man dies in Adams Morgan--in what police don't think is foul play and we get at least two pieces from CP...sigh..

  • Trinidad

    15 year olds get killed all the time in SE. This is definitely something out of a CSI type show and is therefore way more interesting. Maybe sad, but true.

  • sedcdude

    @ sad

    TYPICAL business as uusal and TRINIDADS response is how it gets justified!

    And to think, under this chief and Fenty there would be "change", I THINK NOT!

  • Meg R.

    "15 year olds get killed all the time in SE. This is definitely something out of a CSI type show and is therefore way more interesting. "

    You have a point, perverted but still, but I don't think that justifies focusing on this while ignoring what some claim to be high murder rates of teenagers a few blocks to the east.

    Maybe the two are tied together somehow!

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  • john

    what's wrong with thugs killing other thugs?

  • Rick Mangus

    I have a question, does the body convay with the unit!

  • J

    If the Wone case is any warning, let's be careful about taking innvestigators' word for it. If ketamine or another drug was involved, they could botch aspects of this one too. As a very well informed civic figure told me in the immediate aftermath of the Wone murder: "in this town, they're used to investigating 'thug and drug' homicides' so let's hope they don't miss a lot.". They did. Lessons learned re: toxology tests and timing of such?

  • Siobhan Hanna

    This story has been done in POOR taste. Really????? There is no need. Have some respect.

  • SG

    Well said Siobhan. This was done is extremely poor taste. Show respect or don't publish at all, CP.

  • Paul R

    I find it hard to conceive how anyone seriously thought that anyone would be sunbathing in the nude in February. Be that as it may, David's death was a loss to his friends, family, and colleagues, and he deserves better. To borrow a phrase from Mick Jagger, "[h]ave some sympathy and some taste."