Cause of Death Determined for Gay D.C. Attorney Found In Stranger’s Car

Daniel Potucek reportedly died of an MDMA overdose.

Daniel Potucek, a 34-year-old gay attorney for the Transportation Safety Administration in Washington, D.C., was mysteriously found dead March 31 in a stranger’s vehicle.

Police discovered Potucek’s body, which had no visible signs of injury, sitting in the front passenger seat of a Mazda SUV parked in a residential D.C. neighborhood.

Following a police investigation and toxicology report, it has finally been determined that Potucek died from a drug overdose.

Potucek specifically died due to “methylenedioxy-methamphetamine toxicity,” according to the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, the Washington Blade reports.

A spokesperson for the office also confirmed that Potucek’s death from the drug, more commonly known as MDMA or ecstasy, has been ruled an accident.

LGBTQ community activists initially feared Potucek’s death was the result of a hate crime, due to a string of recent assaults of gay men in the area.

The SUV belongs to D.C. resident Alexander MacLennan, who said he had never met Potucek and did not know how the victim got into his car. “It’s freaky,” MacLennan told NBC News 4. “We were definitely freaked out.”

Potucek frequented at least one of the gay clubs in the neighborhood, the Washington Blade reports, which include Town, Nellie’s Sports Bar, the Dirty Goose, and Uproar.

“We all think, with beyond a reasonable doubt, that there’s more to this story,” Lorinda Potucek, the victim’s mother, said at the time. “Daniel always has made it home.”

According to his LinkedIn profile, Potucek, a Duke University and Harvard Law School graduate, had been an attorney-adviser for the Department of Homeland Security since 2013.

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