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Mystery Tombstone: Still No Answers

There's no explanation for how a tombstone that appeared last month in front of a condo complex on Moorpark Street got there. A note left at the site offers no clues.

The headstone that somebody left in front of the condominium complex at 13331 Moorpark St. in Sherman Oaks nearly three weeks ago is still there, and there is still no explanation for its presence.

"After it was there for a nearly a week, somebody left a note in front of the tombstone," said building resident Karen Mangini, but the note didn't explain anything, she added.

The note, written on a small canvas, said, "I'm sure you were a wonderful person, sorry to hear you passed away," Mangini said. "It was signed Nico."

"But then somebody erased the writing from the canvas, so the mystery is continuing," she added, laughing.

The headstone, which is in a grassy, open area in front of the complex, was first seen there around July 18. It appears to be made of gray marble and is heavy but movable. It seems to be professionally engraved.

The engraving on the headstone says:

"Loving Husband Father and Physician

Jeffrey Lang

1976-2012."

"I went on the Internet to see where that would lead, but Lang is a common name, so I wasn't sure whether anyone listed would know about this," said Mangini, who notified the condo complex board that a headstone was sitting among the plants in front of the building.

"There's nobody with that name, Jeffrey Lang, who lives at the complex," said Melissa Algaze, a member of the board, who said she was surprised to see a tombstone out in front.

"The writing on the marble certainly adds to the intrigue," Algaze said.

People at the complex were surprised that, after nearly three weeks, the headstone had not been vandalized or removed.

"We thought it might have been a movie prop, but I think a movie prop would be lighter and not made of heavy stone," Algaze said.

"We can't really call it a grave marker since there is no grave under it, or at least the ground underneath does not look like it was dug up," she added.

After the initial report on Sherman Oaks Patch, several television news crews came out and reported the story, calling it a "Mystery in Sherman Oaks."

Even with wider publicizing of the headstone, nobody has come forward with an explanation.

An Internet search for the name "Jeffrey Lang" turned up a number of people, but none who appeared to be a physician born in 1976.

The license-checking system at the Medical Board of California does not list the name.

The landscape crew continues to work around the grave marker, not disturbing it or moving it.

"At first it was a little spooky, said Mangini, "but now it's kind of funny."

Anyone with knowledge of this mystery headstone is encouraged to contact Doug.Kriegel@patch.com.

A. Dweeb August 19, 2011 at 08:22 AM
Dear Jeff, 1976 - 2012 I was so sorry to learn of your passing next year. I am inspired by your devotion to your wife, kids and to helping your fellow man. i hope you rest in peace at some point. love, nico (now in sharpie)

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