Remains of missing Restonian Michael Delaney found in Sugarland Run, police confirm

Michael Delaney (Photo via Courtney Park-Jamborsky)

The skeletal remains of Michael Delaney, the Reston man who went missing from Reston Hospital in May 2020, have been found in the Sugarland Run area, Fairfax County police confirmed.

On Friday afternoon (July 23), the Fairfax County Police Department published a message on Facebook saying the remains were found on Wednesday (July 21) by its Search and Rescue team after a community member reported it.

The FCPD says it does not suspect foul play in his death.

We’re saddened to announce Michael Delaney was found on July 21 by our Search and Rescue team. Our team returned to search the area of Sugarland Run after a community member reported finding what appeared to be skeletal remains. During the search, officers discovered clothing matching the description of what Mr. Delaney was last seen wearing as well as skeletal remains. Detectives from our Crime Scene Section collected the remains which were given to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner. Dental records confirmed the remains are Mr. Delaney’s. Detectives do not suspect foul play in his death.

“On behalf of the Major Crimes Bureau, my heartfelt condolences go out to the family and Friends of Mr. Delaney. We are incredibly sorry for your loss. There is so much that goes into these kind of cases and I want to thank the lead detective for his dedication to this case and to Mr. Delany’s family since he went missing over a year ago. Many people played an important and valuable role to include our Search and Rescue team, detectives from our Major Crimes Bureau as well as our local and state law enforcement partners. They tirelessly followed up on every lead we received, many of which led them outside not only Fairfax County but the state. A special thank you to the many volunteers and to the other public and private entities who assisted with searching over 5,000 acres since the time Mr. Delaney went missing. This is not the resolution our detectives and our agency hoped for and our hearts remain with the Delaney family,” Major Ed O’Carroll, Commander of the Major Crimes and Cyber and Forensics Bureaus

This information confirms what Courtney Park-Jamborsky, Delaney’s step-daughter, announced in a Facebook post early yesterday (Thursday).

In the message, Park-Jamborsky said that Delaney’s clothing, a gown, and wallet were found, along with his remains.

“Our family is heartbroken but feel relieved to know about Michael after 14 months of agony,” she wrote. “We are forever grateful for the outpouring of support since May 10, 2020.”

Reston Now has reached out to the family, but has yet to hear back as of publication.

According to surveillance video, Delaney walked out of Reston Hospital in the evening of May 10, 2020.

The previous day, Park-Jamborsky had taken him to the hospital because of a fall at his Reston home. While Delaney suffered from dementia, she was not allowed to accompany him inside due to COVID-19 protocols that were in place at the time.

“I stood at the sliding emergency room door at the hospital, and he stood there with me,” Park-Jamborsky told Reston Now in May 2021, a year after his disappearance. “I felt like I was letting a 5-year-old walk through that door without someone helping him. But I had confidence that [Reston Hospital] knew what they were doing. I never thought in a million years that he would disappear.”

He was admitted into the hospital and kept overnight. Around 9:30 p.m. the next day, Park-Jamborsky says she received a call from the hospital saying they couldn’t find her stepfather.

Surveillance video showed Delaney walking out of the hospital about 30 minutes earlier. FCPD put out a missing persons alert several hours later.

Delaney was never seen again, despite a search that lasted weeks. While Delaney’s location has been found, it still remains unclear as ever what led up to the tragedy.

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