By Cyclingnews staff
Floyd Landis' father-in-law, David Witt, has been found dead in his car in a parking lot in North Park, San Diego. San Diego independent TV station KUSI reported that the 57 year-old died of a gunshot wound on Tuesday afternoon. He was found shortly after 3:00pm and was taken to Mercy Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. The San Diego County Medical Examiner's office confirmed to Cyclingnews that David's body "is in our facility", and said that the autopsy would be completed today or tomorrow. The SDCME's office would not confirm the cause of death, however.
Witt was close friends with Landis, and introduced him to his stepdaughter Amber, whom Landis married. David Witt and Floyd Landis were also best men at each other's weddings. Witt's restaurant in North Park - Hawthorn's - was filled with Floyd Landis jerseys, old cycling gloves, newspaper articles and other memorabilia, and he and his wife Rose watched Landis ride to victory on the Champs Elysées at the end of the Tour de France.
Although the Witts were upset by Landis positive tests for an abnormal testosterone level, it is not known whether the doping affair played a role in David Witt's apparent suicide.
"He isn't the type who would do this type of thing," David told the San Diego Union-Tribune in late July, when the news first broke of Landis' positive. "Landis has a special gift. His physical endurance is 'way off the charts'. How many other people could cover 900 miles in one week of training? We just want to get through this mess."
Cyclingnews extends its condolences to the family and friends of David Witt.
Cyclingnews' coverage of the Floyd Landis case
September 28, 2008 - Landis takes case to US federal court
September 10, 2008 - Landis signing with current Health Net-Maxxis team for 2009
July 1, 2008 - CAS delivers final blow to Landis legal challenge
June 30, 2008 - Landis loses final appeal
June 28, 2008 - Landis decision due Monday
March 12, 2008 - Landis' judgment day nears
October 21, 2007 - Landis files appeal with CAS
October 18, 2007 - AFLD takes another look at Landis case
Thursday, October 11 - Landis continues fight, appeals to CAS
Saturday, September 22 - UCI officially names Pereiro 2006 Tour champion, Landis case raises issues
Friday, September 21 - Landis' appeal denied, two year suspension levied