Missing VCU student found dead in Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, DC (NBC4) — A 19-year-old man was found dead in an alley in Adams Morgan Thursday afternoon after his family said he disappeared from a bar the previous night.

Paul McGuinness Jr., of Reston, Virginia, was found dead about 11:50 a.m. Thursday at the rear of the 2400 block of 18th Street NW, family members said. D.C. police confirmed a body was found at the location.

The Virginia Commonwealth University freshman went to the bar Madam’s Organ Wednesday night to celebrate his cousin’s birthday, McGuinness’ uncle Oray Nicolai said.

“I know that he disappeared from the bar at 1 o’clock in the morning, and my son was with him — thought he was coming out of the bathroom,” Nicolai said. “He never came out.”

McGuinness’ family called police, and then members of the family plus the McGuinness’ longtime baseball coach went looking for him Thursday morning. After searching for five hours, McGuinness’ coach discovered the young man’s body at the bottom of a stairwell behind Madam’s Organ, Nicolai said.

“It’s the worst nightmare any parent could ever have,” McGuinness’ uncle said, describing the recent Herndon High School graduate as a family-oriented sports lover who was the life of the party.

McGuinness’ family believes he went down the back stairs of the bar and fell, Nicolai said.

Madam’s Organ will not open Thursday night, a woman who answered the phone Thursday evening said. She declined to comment on the investigation.

McGuinness had just returned home from VCU to spend Christmas with his family.

D.C. police said they are conducting a death investigation.

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By Meagan Fitzgerald and Andrea Swalec

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