Daniel Potucek, a 34-year-old gay attorney for the Transportation Safety Administration was found dead with no visible signs of injury in a Mazda SUV last Saturday morning. It is still unknown how he got there and how he died. The results of an autopsy have not yet been released.
Surveillance cameras at a restaurant in the 800 block of Florida Avenue may have captured the last moments of Potucek being alive.
“Then he was in that car from the time of closing until they found him at 7 or 7:20 [a.m.],” said Lorinda Potucek, the victim’s mother.
It was at roughly 7:30 a.m. Saturday when police discovered Potucek’s body in the passenger’s seat of a Mazda SUV. The car belongs to a Northwest D.C. man who said he has never met the victim.
He did not want to be identified, but told FOX 5 he parked his vehicle last Friday night just a block away from the corner of Florida Avenue and 8th Street when he went to dinner at Hazel. Instead of driving home, he took Lyft and planned to return for his car the next morning while out on a jog.
Potucek’s mother is still trying to understand why her son would seek out a random car.
FOX 5 did not mention Potucek’s sexual orientation.
Potucek frequented at least one of several gay clubs in the neighborhood, the Washington Blade reports:
As in all cases of an unexplained death with no signs of injury, the police Homicide Branch, which investigates such cases, is awaiting results of the autopsy and toxicology tests to determine the cause of death. Fields said the findings of the autopsy and results of toxicology tests were pending and she could not say when they would be completed.
Potucek’s mother, Lorinda Potucek, told NBC 4 News that she has many questions about the mysterious circumstances surrounding her son’s death, including how he got into a car that belonged to someone else.
“I’ve been told that somebody put him in that car” and that the car door had been unlocked, she told NBC 4 reporter Pat Collins. “We all think, with beyond a reasonable doubt, that there’s more to this story,” News 4 quoted her as saying. “Daniel always has made it home.”
In addition to Town nightclub, the gay bars located within a two block area from where Potucek was found dead in the early morning of March 31 are Nellie’s Sports Bar, the Dirty Goose and Uproar.
Potucek’s LinkedIn page, which was still online as of late this week, shows he was a graduate of Harvard Law School, where he received his law degree; and received a bachelor’s degree from Duke University in the field of international comparative studies. He has worked at the Department of Homeland Security as an attorney-adviser since 2013, his LinkedIn page says.
Another report from NBC Washington: