Burgess Suicide Theory Discarded by Police As Body Fails to Rise to Surface of Charles River
Police Turn to Other Clues in Hope of Finding Law Man Missing Two Weeks
Since his body has not yet risen to the surface of the Charles River, metropolitan police have concluded that F. William Burgess, 2L, did not drawn there two weeks ago as had been previously thought.
Lietutenant W. G. Kiniry pointed out that ordinarily it takes a corpse from nine to ten days to rise to the surface, and that Burgess's body should have appeared at least four days ago.
Because of the cold weather, which makes gas form less quickly in the body, it is barely possible that the corpse may not rise for several days more.
Suicide Theory Discarded
Originally it was believed that Burgess had either committed suicide by jumping in the Charles River or had met with foul play at the hands of an unknown person. However, police are now discarding both of these theories, because, as Lieutenant Kiniry said, the victim's body has not been discovered, hence both of these ideas seem implausable.
The police feel there may be a very slight possibility that the body is entangled in a boat mooring, but if that is the case sooner or later the corpse is bound to rise.
Coat Was Too Neat
Discovery of neatly fielded coat on the Long fellow bridge early Sunday morning, November 14 had been the original clue to Burgess' unaccounted for absence, and police attached a great deal of importance to this fact. It was realized that if a fight had taken place, the coat would not have been left in such an orderly state.
Colonel Apted, head of the Yard police, thought he had a clue several days ago when it was announced that a fist fight had occurred on the Longfellow bridge shortly before the reported drowning. But the man who saw the fight cannot be found or can any concrete evidence be uncovered.
The reports of several persons that they had heard shouts and cries for help early Sunday morning near the river have also been disregarded. An intexieared woman was found there and it appeared that the cries had been coming from her rather than from a drowning person.
The police have several cases on record of persons who have faked suicides in an effort to make complete disappearances, and this angle must be considered in this case.
No Enemies Known
If Burgess did carry out such a scheme, the reason is certainly a mystery. He was in good health, his work was satisfactory, and he appeared to be a popular man. His parents are positive that he had no known enemies, and that he had no reason to take his own life or run away.
At present the police are concentrating their efforts in an attempt to find out what Burgess did between the time he left his room for the Davidson game and the time his coat was found on the bridge twelve hours later.