Thomas family

Thomas family. Courtesy GoFundMe

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office continues to investigate the drowning of 16-year-old Fitz Thomas in Lansdowne on June 4, including how long it took first responders to find the scene.

Detectives assigned to the case have interviewed nearly two dozen people at the scene, to include multiple interviews of his friends who were with him that night, as well as independent witnesses who were in the area at the time of the incident.

Information from the community suggests there may have been additional people who were in the area who have not spoken with law enforcement, the sheriff's office said. If you were at the scene and have not spoken with a detective, please contact the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office.

Fitz Thomas, 16, and his friends were swimming across the confluence of Goose Creek and the Potomac River on the evening of June 4 and as he crossed the water he was observed going underwater. He was pulled from Goose Creek after being underwater for a period of time.

Since that evening, the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office has conducted "a thorough, objective, and impartial investigation into his death," the sheriff's office said. As part of the investigation the LCSO has:

• Established a timeline of the sequence of events to include the response to the scene.

• Deployed the agency’s dive team to analyze underwater currents, debris and the depth of the water.

• Requested media helicopter footage of the scene from a local news channel.

• Deployed a drone to obtain aerial images of the area.

• Requested full autopsy results from the Office of the Medical Examiner as soon as they become available.

• Conducted and will continue to conduct interviews of any potential witnesses.

NBC Washington reported it took more than 30 minutes for rescue crews to arrive at the scene that evening, mainly because of confusion over which jurisdiction the incident should go to -- Loudoun County or Montgomery County, Maryland.

The Potomac River is technically Maryland jurisdiction up to Virginia's shores and as the 911 calls came in, only Maryland first responders were dispatched.

Loudoun County has now changed policy, and will dispatch Loudoun first responders to any incident in adjoining waterways, NBC Washington reported.

Fitz Thomas was the son of prominent local pastor and NAACP leader Michelle Thomas. 

Anyone with information related to the incident is asked to please contact Detective Shannon Coderre at 703-777-0475 or by e-mail at

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