Ronnie Jay Leipold, one of the original members of the famous “Z-Boys” skating crew made famous by the 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, has gone missing. Ronnie Jay was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s 6 years ago, which is most likely a factor in his disappearance. This is the second time that he has gone missing since he was first diagnosed. He was last seen wearing his medical ID bracelet in Culver City, California. It’s being reported that Culver City Police are actively searching for Ronnie Jay, but his friends, family and fans are taking to social media in order to get the word out about his recent disappearance. @LaurenTaylor111 is tweeting out the above picture to media outlets and prominent Angelenos, under the hashtag #helpfindronnie.
There are few things more tragic and devastating than finding out that you or a loved one has Alzheimer’s disease, especially if the afflicted lived a life as epic as Ronnie Jay Leipold (no offense to anyone with Alzheimer’s who is not an original Z-Boy. It’s equally tragic across the board.) But this hits a little closer to home for me personally as someone who grew up in West LA, idolizing surfers and skaters like Ronnie Jay (admittedly, I didn’t know about Ronnie Jay until I saw Dogtown and Z-Boys, but whatever! Stop judging me, middle-school cool kids in my brain.) Let’s all hope he is found and reunited with his family soon. If you are in the LA area, feel free to share this. The more eyes out there looking for Ronnie Jay, the better.
UPDATE: I’m told he’s been found. Thanks to everyone and anyone who spread the word.