Prince George's County police yesterday defended the way they handled the missing person report filed by the parents of a Glenn Dale teenager who was later found shot to death in his car in Northeast Washington. The investigation into the report filed Thursday night by Mohamed Elmaghraby's family was handled appropriately, said Cpl. Debbie Carlson, a police spokeswoman. Because the 18-year-old did not have any health problems and left his home of his own accord with no indication of foul play, police could not classify the report as a "critical missing person" case, Carlson said. "We certainly understand the family's upset," Carlson said. "You can't call out the helicopters and the bloodhounds for an adult who leaves on his own."
Maher Elmaghraby, the teenager's father, has said in interviews that Prince George's police did not take seriously his effort to report Mohamed's disappearance. An officer who came to his home said Mohamed could have been in California smoking dope, Elmaghraby said yesterday.
Elmaghraby said he called Prince George's police again Friday to report Mohamed's car as stolen, hoping that would spur action. He said an officer told him that reporting the car as stolen could lead to his son getting a police record. Cpl. Kim Brown, another Prince George's police spokeswoman, said there is no typical response to a missing person report. It depends on a number of circumstances, such as whether the missing person is an adult, whether the person has ever left home before without telling anyone and whether there is evidence of foul play, she said. (MORE) -