Hiker finds missing Maryland man’s body

John Patrick Donohoe

FRONT ROYAL – A hiker taking a walk on the south side of the Appalachian Trail on Sunday evening made a shocking discovery: the human remains of a deceased man.

Police have identified the man as John Patrick Donohoe, 36, of Bethesda, Maryland. He had been reported missing since Dec. 13. The cause of death is still under investigation.

Warren County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Brad Pugh said that the body was found in a heavily wooded area close to Remount Road (522 South) near an entrance to the Appalachian Trail on land owned by the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, a research hub for animal conservationists.

Donohoe went missing a day after being released from the hospital and after leaving a family member’s home in mid-December. Bethesda Magazine, citing Maryland court documents, reported in January that his family was “concerned about his mental wellness and were not able to make any contact with him after he left.”

A couple weeks after his disappearance, police released surveillance video of a woman who purchased about $700 in merchandise with Donohoe’s credit card at various retail stores in the Hyattsville, Maryland, area. The woman, identified as Chernor Sheriff, 25, turned herself in and was charged with credit card fraud. She told police that her boyfriend, Victor Sesay, 37, gave her the card to use, the Bethesda Patch website reported, but no charges were filed against him.

A sign marks the trailhead for the Appalachian Trail off Remount Road in Warren County where a Maryland man's body was found near this site on Sunday. Rich Cooley/Daily

Donohoe was the son of real estate developer Bob Donohoe, chairman and CEO of The Donohoe Companies, located in Bethesda. In February, the family had offered a $25,000 reward for information leading to John Patrick Donohoe’s whereabouts.

His black 2011 Chevrolet Equinox, which Montgomery County Police say Donohue drove from his relative’s home, was located in Front Royal on March 3, Montgomery County police said in a statement. The vehicle was unoccupied.

Police are asking that anyone with information about this case to call the Warren County Sheriff’s Office at 540-636-4128.

Contact staff writer Briahnna Brown at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or bbrown@nvdaily.com