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Mario Danelo Dead at 21

Living on the east coast has its disadvantages when you cover a team on the west coast. I was shocked this morning when USCLink emailed me with the tragic news of the death of USC Place Kicker Mario Danelo. As also noted in the Diaries by TXMed.

Danelo...Usually Always Money!

Danelo, a junior, and the son of former NFL kicker Joe Danelo was found dead by a passer-by at the bottom of the cliffs of Point Fermin.

The body of USC kicker Mario Danelo was found Saturday at the bottom of Point Fermin Park cliffs in San Pedro.

Danelo, 21, was missing for at least a day, according to USC officials, before his body was found. Rigor mortis had set in by the time authorities reached the scene Saturday night.

...Park visitors spotted Danelo's body at 4:37 p.m. and about 40 firefighters responded to the scene, about 200 yards west of the Point Fermin Lighthouse.

Fire fighters led police down a 120-foot cliff to the body.

Photo: Stephen Dunn / Getty Images

It appears that bssed on the LA Times article this morning that he was out with friends on Friday night and had missing for most of the day until his body was found on Saturday.

Pierson said investigators had information that indicated Danelo was out with friends Friday night and that Danelo was last seen around midnight.

Asked if Danelo had been drinking, Pierson said, "We have no information to indicate whether he was drinking or not drinking. I just don't know at this time."

Atop the cliff are signs forbidding entrance and warnings about unstable, slippery surfaces and steep drops. A bouquet of flowers and candles were left at the scene by onlookers.

As of this writing on Sunday morning there has not been an official cause of death issued so I will refrain from even speculating as to what happened. I do know this, having grown up on the PV Peninsula I spent a lot of time on the cliffs from Malaga Cove all the way around to the cliffs of San Pedro and I can tell you that even on a "calm" day the wind can be treacherous.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Danelo family and to the extended family of members of the football team. This tragic event goes beyond the playing field as it is the loss of a young mans life that can never be replaced.

Rest in Peace Mario.