In July, Delaney’s remains were found in the Sugarland Run area concluding a 14-month long search for him.
He served in the Navy for over a decade and was a Vietnam War veteran, as his obituary notes. During Delaney’s service, he or his crew received a number of commendations and medals. He was honorably discharged as a Lt. Commander in 1980.
Internment at Arlington National Cemetery will occur at a later date, notes the obituary.
In 1978, he married Dyanna R. Park, whom he met while attending Bishop O’Connell High School in Arlington. They lived in Reston the rest of their lives where Delaney worked as a system analyst and for Fairfax County Public Schools.
He was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2016.
On May 9, 2020, Courtney Park-Jamborsky dropped off her stepfather at the emergency room at Reston Hospital Center. He had fallen earlier in the day and suffered only a minor cut, but Park-Jamborsky wanted to be cautious. She, however, couldn’t enter the emergency room due to COVID-19 protocols.
“I stood at the sliding emergency room door at the hospital, and he stood there with me,” she told Reston Now earlier this year. “I felt like I was letting a five-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.”
She never saw her stepfather again. Delaney was officially reported missing two days later, as surveillance video showed him walking out of the facility at 9 p.m. on May 10.
Searches using helicopters, K9s, and rescue teams commenced but police couldn’t locate Delaney.
14 months later, his remains were found only a few miles from Reston Hospital. It remains unknown exactly how or when he died.
“Skeletal remains were found on July 10 which led our Search and Rescue team to the area of Sugarland Run. During that search, officers found the remains of what was later determined to be Mr. Delaney, which was confirmed by the Medical Examiner,” a Fairfax County Police Department spokesperson wrote to Reston Now in an email.
“It is unknown what occurred during the time that Mr. Delaney was reported to be missing, but detectives believe that he likely passed in days following his disappearance. Detectives do not suspect foul play in his death and the investigation is closed.”
The obituary notes that Delaney died on July 10. That’s not the actual day of death, however, but rather the date remains were found.
“It is [Office of the Chief Medical Examiner] practice to use the date found as the date of death instead of determining the actual date of death,” confirms an OCME spokesperson to Reston Now.
Delaney loved helping people, according to the obituary. He gave blood often, was a fabulous chef and a history buff. He enjoyed double-feature movies, the Vienna Inn, crossword puzzles, and football.
“He was, above all, a kind and gentle soul,” reads the obituary.
In July, Park-Jamborsky remained hopeful that her step-father would be found alive.
“Every day, I wake up in the morning and think ‘will today be the day that I get the call … that Michael’s body has been found or maybe he’s been found living with a loving family or a widowed woman that wanted to take care of him,” Park-Jamborsky said at the time. “But then I think this isn’t the movies.”
Those wishing to honor Delaney’s memory are being asked to make a donation to the Alzheimer’s Association.
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