NEWBURY — Police Chief Patricia Fisher reports that the Byfield man identified Friday as the person who drowned in the Parker River, David Harwood, had been the subject of an active arrest warrant but that Newbury police officials had had no contact with Harwood and were not actively pursuing him, nor were police aware of his presence in town at the time of his untimely death.
The Newbury Police Department, with the assistance of mutual aid partners from the Northeastern Massachusetts Law Enforcement Council, attempted to serve an arrest warrant on Harwood at his residence, 21R Forest St., on Jan. 3, but he fled from police at the time.
Technology resources showed that Harwood was in another community, and police there were notified.
Due to the condition of the home, Newbury Inspectional Services were notified and the house was condemned. Newbury police had no contact with Harwood or his immediate family since Jan. 3, and the warrant remained active.
On Thursday evening, police and fire officials responded to Forest Street for a water rescue of an unknown person in distress in the Parker River. It was not until positive identification was made early Friday morning that police became aware that Harwood was the victim. Newbury Police immediately worked with the Essex County District Attorney’s Office to make appropriate next-of-kin notifications.
The criminal investigation is closed.
The Newbury Police Department offers its sincere condolences to the family. The Newbury Police Department also expresses its appreciation to residents for their patience and cooperation during the rescue and recovery efforts late Thursday and early Friday morning.