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October 20th, 2009 by Andrea Olivas
Tragically, the 42-year-old Los Angeles County sheriff’s deputy, who was reported missing after he went for a run in the Cleveland National Forest just outside of Corona, was found dead today.
Deputy Zoltan Tombol’s body was found at at the base of a cliff near a fire road at about 2:20 p.m. in Riverside County. How Tombol died has not been released, an autopsy is scheduled to be conducted Wednesday.
Tombol was reported missing at about 6:30 p.m. Sunday evening by his wife after he missed a routine appointment to pick up his son from a relative’s house, according to authorities.
Tombol’s gray Ford F-150 pickup truck was then found Monday by Corona police at the end of a fire access road south of Green River Road and Highway 91. A multi-agency search team of more than 100 from Los Angeles County and Riverside County sheriff’s departments in collaboration with the Volunteers with the Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit as well as Corona and Brea police searched to locate him. The team included some on horseback, some with dogs, ATVs and two helicopters. They canvased a three-mile area in the forest, where he frequently went to go running and hiking.
Tombol was a 19 year veteran of the department and well respected by his colleagues. He was the first on the scene in April 29, 2002 when his fellow colleague, Deputy David March was shot to death during a traffic stop on Live Oak Avenue in Irwindale. Tombol at the time worked the gang unit at Temple station. He currently worked out of the training bureau in Whittier. He was also a former member of the U.S. Army’s elite 82nd Airborne Division.
Tombol leaves behind a wife and 14 year old son.