News Release

Maryland Heights fatality: Initial investigation indicates cause of death was accidental

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Date: October 24, 2017
Contact: Melissa Boyce, 304-535-6268

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. – At approximately 2:30 p.m. on October 20, 2017, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park Law Enforcement Rangers were notified that an 18-year-old male had fallen from the Maryland Heights Overlook in Washington County, Md. A preliminary investigation aided by several witness statements revealed that the victim, identified as Maximilian Von Arx from Rockford, Ill., was hiking with a friend and the friend’s family when he attempted to jump from one rock ledge to a lower ledge. He lost his footing and could not recover. No immediate safety concerns or suspicious circumstances were discovered through the preliminary investigation.

Rangers responded to the scene along with Washington County Fire and EMS. They confirmed that the victim was deceased and began recovery operations. The National Park Service and Maryland State Medical Examiner’s Office are cooperating in the investigation.

The Maryland Heights area of the park is a popular hiking destination. All trails and climbing routes have re-opened.

Last updated: October 24, 2017

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Harpers Ferry National Historical Park
National Park Service
PO Box 65

Harpers Ferry, WV 25425


304 535-6029

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