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Man Freed by North Korea Burns to Death in California

Man Freed by North Korea Burns to Death in California

Aijalon Mahli Gomes on Aug. 27, 2010, at Logan International Airport in Boston, Massachusetts. (Darren McCollester/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 22 November 2017 11:05 AM

A man freed from North Korea in 2010 was found burned to death in California on Friday.

Aijalon Gomes gained international attention several years ago after he was detained for illegally entering North Korea from China, Fox News noted.

The 38-year-old was sentenced to eight years of hard labour and fined $700,000, but the terms of his release were renegotiated and Gomea was eventually escorted back to the U.S. and reunited with his family.

Investigators think his death was an accident or suicide, according to The Los Angeles Times.

An off-duty California Highway Patrol officer discovered Gomes on fire in a field while driving along the Pacific Highway on Friday morning.

Although the unnamed officer attempted to help Gomes, the former prisoner succumbed to his injuries and was pronounced dead at the scene.

Gomes' mother, Jacqueline McCarthy, confirmed the death of her son, noting that he had recently moved to San Diego and stating that he had attempted to commit suicide on several occasions.

She said her son's incarceration had affected him, according to the Los Angeles Times.

"He was a beautiful person," she said. "He was selfless. He was always giving his last to everyone."

McCarthy told NBC 7 San Diego that her son "was a very good human being," who "loved people" and "loved his family."

She added that an online fundraising page would be set up soon to raise money to help cover the costs of her son's funeral.

Detectives said they do not believe that Gomes' death was a homicide but an official cause of death will only be established by the Medical Examiner's Office.

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A man freed from North Korea in 2010 was found burned to death in California on Friday.
man, freed, north korea, burns
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2017-05-22
Wednesday, 22 November 2017 11:05 AM
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