Cops: Top Psychiatrist Killed By Teen

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A 19-year-old man was charged Monday with murdering a prominent psychiatrist and federal health official, Montgomery County police said.

Vitali A. Davydov, of North Potomac, was believed to be the only suspect in the case after Dr. Wayne S. Fenton, 53, was found unconscious in his office Sunday after an appointment with the teen, police said. Davydov's father saw his son acting strangely outside the building after the appointment, found Fenton and called police, according to a statement from police.

In addition to seeing patients who were considered severely disturbed in his private practice, Fenton was associate director of the National Institute of Mental Health, a division of the National Institutes of Health. His death was described as devastating, not only to his friends but also for the advancement of mental health research.

"He was without question one of the nation's experts in schizophrenia," said Thomas R. Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health.

Insel said Fenton was leading a research effort to help make it possible for people with severe psychiatric disease to function in the community.

"I can't convey to you the extent of this loss," Insel said. "This was a huge loss for the nation." Schizophrenia afflicts about 2.5 million Americans, Insel said.

Fenton's body has been sent to the Medical Examiner in Baltimore for an autopsy.

  • Stephen Smith

    Stephen Smith is a senior editor for