LOS ANGELES (FOX11) - A 70-year-old runner who was found dead in the Los Angeles River committed suicide, authorities said.
Frank Meza was disqualified from the Los Angeles Marathon last week; and on July 4th he was found dead.
Meza died from multiple blunt force traumatic injuries in a suicide, the coroner's office concluded following an autopsy.
The Los Angeles Police Department responded to a report of a body in the river lying in shallow water shortly before 10 a.m. in the Cypress Park area.
The disqualification of Meza, who set a record time for his age group in the L.A. Marathon, sent shock waves through the running community.
Meza finished the marathon with an official time of 2:53:10. The next person behind him in the group finished with a time of 4:10:07.
The performance was so astonishing that marathon investigator Derek Murphy took a closer look and said he found video that showed Meza leaving the course.
"What you see is he comes onto the course after being along the sidewalk for an unknown period of time,' Murphy said. "I looked back 6 minutes (on the video) and he was never on the portion of the course leading up to the sidewalk so it showed me he didn't run that full part of the course."
The marathon disqualified Meza for alleged cheating and awarded the win for the age group to the second finisher. Meza said he was looking for a restroom and did not take a short cut.