The L.A. County Coroner needs help resolving a horrific suicide for which there are few clues — except a tattoo on the chest of the victim's mangled body that forever claims his love for “Donna.”
John Doe No. 41 for 2013 was videotaped by an on-train camera as he leaped into the path of the Metrolink train just north of Burbank Airport's runway March 5 at 5 p.m. He was a Latino over the age of 35, but the terrible maiming of his body — and the fact that his fingerprints revealed zero criminal record — makes an ID impossible. Who is Donna, which means “lady” in Italian, and is she out there?
Coroner's Investigator Daniel Machian tells L.A. Weekly:
He committed suicide and the train operator did see him. As the train approached, the guy ran and jumped in front of it.
No wallet was found. The man was dressed in black from head to toe except for his blue-and-white Reeboks. The coroner's office is left with few ideas or clues.
“It's very sad, but as far as identifying the body, we are at a loss and seeking help from the public,” Machian says. “We get about two to three” people jumping in front of trains each year.
The tattooed name “Donna” is the only clue that could possibly help the coroner identify the black-clad body. We can only wonder who John Doe 41's Donna is. Is she looking for him? Is her family alone and without closure?
For John Doe 41, there may be no funeral involving those who knew him.
His is likely to be among the more than 1,100 bodies cremated by the county morgue each year, whose ashes are buried in a mass grave at year's end in a simple ceremony held at the Los Angeles County Cemetery in East Los Angeles.
Anyone who may have known the man with the “Donna” tattoo is asked to please contact Coroner Investigator Daniel Machian at the Los Angeles County Coroner Identifications Unit at (323) 343-0754 or the Coroner Investigations Division at (323) 343-0714 (24-hours).