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Surveillance Video Led Police To Body In William McQuain Search

Students at William's school learn of developments

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Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger discusses the developments in the case of 11-year-old William McQuain, whose body they believe they found in the woods near Clarksburg Road yesterday.
Elliott Francis
Montgomery County Police Chief Thomas Manger discusses the developments in the case of 11-year-old William McQuain, whose body they believe they found in the woods near Clarksburg Road yesterday.

Police in Montgomery County have suspended their search for 11-year-old William McQuain after the discovery of a body fitting his description. Now, investigators are focused on a critical surveillance video, as residents and schoolmates try to make sense of what happened. 

The security footage was recorded on the morning of Saturday, Oct. 1, at a storage facility on Wisteria Road in Germantown. County police chief Tom Manger says it shows William accompanied by 45-year-old Curtis Lopez, the man now accused of killing his mom, Jane McQuain.   

"The footage shows William appearing to be in a playful mood and it doesn't appear as if he was under any distress," Manger says. "He appeared to be running around as you would expect a boy that age to do."

Just after 9 a.m. Tuesday, following an intense two-day search, investigators found the body of an African American male fitting William's description. Manger says that footage recorded two weeks earlier connects the dots.   

"The clothing on the body appears similar to what William was wearing on Oct. 1," Manger says.

Although no positive identification has been made, word spread virally across the Germantown neighborhood where the McQuains lived. Particularly hard hit were students at King Middle School in Germantown, where McQuain was a 6th grader. The school announced the news over the school's intercom system.

"Everyone just stopped, and then teachers came in every room and just supported everyone who needed it," says Keywshawn Thacker, 13, a student at the school. "Everyone was just sad and had their head down, there were tissues everywhere. People were crying. It was sad."

Keyshawn's mom, Shawna Thacker, says she is trying her level best to help her son understand why bad things, happen to good people.

"Things happen for a reason … we can't always explain it," Thacker says. "I've already tried to explain it to him. He doesn't quite understand why and I can't tell him why. You know, so we'll just have to keep William and his family in our prayers."

Lopez is the main suspect in William's death, police say. He was arrested in North Carolina last week, after police there discovered his companion driving Jane McQuain's car.

Prosecutors may consider pursuing the death penalty in this case if Lopez is eligible, but stressed that such decisions would be premature at this time.

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