Nathan Morgan’s body was discovered just hours after he had been treated in Centinela Freeman Regional Medical Center’s emergency room for an injury to his left elbow. Coroner’s records show that he told hospital officials said he had hurt himself while “doing gymnastics drunk.”
We believe that this had something to do with what had occurred later that night. We learned after his death he had traveled to Los Angeles from Portland, Ore., arriving in Southern California a few days before he was beaten to death.
Nathan had been raised a Christian. When he was younger he would go to jails to speak to inmates about his faith and what it had done for him.
Nathan had worked a series of odd jobs since graduating from high school, making fiberglass swimming pools, working in a steel mill and manufacturing car parts. At times he lived with his twin sister.
For several years, he had worked as a telemarketer, traveling from Toledo to Atlantic City, then to Portland. His most recent job was selling magazine subscriptions.
He moved around a lot. He wanted to see the world; he was always a free spirit. He loved riding 3 wheelers and ATVs!
Whenever he would visit a new place he would save a rock to give to his grandmother, a collection that she treasured deeply.
By his late teens, however, his parents said Nathan had developed a drug and alcohol addiction. They acknowledge that his substance abuse could have played a part in his death.
Nathan did have a drug and alcohol problem; it was an up and down battle for him. When he was clean and sober he was a great kid. Sometimes people can’t get out from underneath it, and they relapse. If he could have gotten control of that he might be alive today.
I believe Nathan could overcome his problems because I too had struggled with addiction at the same age. Faith helped him turn his life around.
We don’t know what brought Nathan to Venice. We learned after he was killed, that he stopped in Las Vegas to pick up Robert Northington, a friend from Toledo, Ohio, before continuing on to California. Nathan and Northington shared a hotel room for at least several days before Nathan’s body was found in the sand, they said.
We did not know whether Northington had information about his friend’s killing. In June, Northington was struck and killed by a train in Toledo in what local law enforcement officials described as a suicide. Northington had been battling cancer at the time of his death.
We had not seen Nathan since September of 2007. A few weeks before he was killed, his mother had received a text saying he would be in touch. She never heard from him again.
Autopsy records indicate Nathan was severely beaten in the neck, chest and legs. His eyes and upper lip were swollen, and his nose and throat had been packed with sand. He was beaten by five individuals near the boardwalk, and then dragged to the area where he was found covered with sand, according to the report.
In January, 2009 Richard and Susan Morgan came to Los Angeles to try to learn more about their son’s death.
“We didn’t fly out to L.A. right away,” Richard Morgan said. “It was a very healing process. If I had known before then how it would make me feel I would have done it sooner.” I had never even heard of Venice before and we spent the first day talking with the detectives and the second just walking the boardwalk. We sat at the place where their son was killed, posting up flyers with his picture and our info and talking to a lot of people trying to find some answers as to who would do such a thing and why?
When I went there we knew we were walking in the place my son spent the last hours of his life and we were hoping someone would remember him… We didn’t find that person, but it was healing walking where he walked.
It’s really the what ifs and the if only’s that still haunt us all the time. For those who think time heals all wounds and that there could ever be closure from my experience, neither is true.
Nathan is missed by many friends and family members and it’s still hard to believe.
To this date there have been no arrests in the case due to not having credible witnesses…..We believe that there are peoples out there who saw this happen who could help us to understand why… We have been trying to find a person named RAVEN who had posted on our website being there when he was murdered. We just want answers……and most of all we hope and pray these persons are caught so they can’t kill again.
We have created a website commemorating their son at <www.nathan-alan-morgan.com>, where we have posted photos recovered from a disposable camera taken in the time leading up to their son’s death. They have asked anyone with information about their son’s killing to contact them through their website or to call Richard @ 419-345-9734
We are truly thankful for all the people who we have met and been involved with throughout this ordeal, from the detectives, especially Detective Carranza, to strangers on the beach and boardwalk to a lady we met on our flight and to a couple anonymous lady’s in L.A. Thank you all!
Rick Morgan, Holland, Ohio