‘Always and forever on our minds’, Family of Leon Reece ask for missed connection stories, seeking closure

Ashleigh Goodwin

TRUCKEE, Calif. – During an “unusual” rain event at the 2023 Burning Man Festival, Truckee resident, Leon Reece, 32, was found unresponsive on the Playa on September 1, 2023, according to officials. The call came in to Pershing County dispatch just before 6:30p.m.

According to a statement released by the sheriff’s office September 4, medical personnel administered CPR but by the time Pershing County Sheriff’s Office Deputies arrived the doctor at the Festival had already declared Reece dead.

After a delayed start to the investigation, due to thick mud inhibiting access, deputies completed interviews with witnesses and medical responders, the statement continued, but deputies were unable to immediately determine the cause of death.

The Washoe County Medical Examiner’s Office autopsy and toxicology results are still pending and could take six to eight weeks to be concluded. 

Reece’s family and friends are yearning for relief. 

“RIP Son, Brother, Nephew, Cousin, and friend.  Forever in our hearts. Always and forever on our minds,” Debbie Reece, mother of Leon, said in a post on Facebook. 

In the post, Reece’s mother shared a sort of missed connection tribute story, from a fellow burner who met Leon on the playa and only knew him by his “Burner” name, Baby Vin Diesel. 

“The radiant energy mentioned in the gofundme description certainly fits. I picked up on his playfulness, his adventurous spirit, his love of life, his ability to make people feel welcomed, and his good nature. So many of us did,” the tribute story, Debbie said, was welcomed.

“Anyone else at Burning Man who had experienced time with him and might have a memory to share, it would mean everything to his family and friends,” Debbie’s post added.

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