Criminal Justice

Still a murder mystery: Who killed federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna?


Despite a $100,000 reward offer, authorities still haven’t solved the slaying of federal prosecutor Jonathan Luna, who died 10 years ago this month.

Luna, an assistant U.S. attorney in Baltimore, was 38 when he died, MyElancoNews reports. He had 36 stab wounds and his throat had been slit. His body was found in a shallow stream near the Pennsylvania Turnpike. The cause of death was drowning.

Luna was the father of two children; his wife was an obstetrician, the article says. He was prosecuting a drug case at the time of his death and was working on a plea deal after being accused of failing to reveal information about an FBI informant. He left his office shortly before midnight on Dec. 3, 2003, traveling to Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. His body was found the next morning.

The Baltimore Sun had reported after Luna’s death that $36,000 in cash was missing in a case on which Luna was working and he had feared losing his job, the story says. There were also allegations that Luna had sought sex partners on adult websites. Bill Keisling, author of a 2005 book on the case, said the reports were part of a “well-timed hit job,” the story says. Keisling has suggested there could be mob involvement in Luna’s death.

Sources also told of pressure on Lancaster County Coroner G. Gary Kirchner, who succeeded the original coroner in the case, to change the cause of death from murder to suicide, according to the article. The coroner, who died in August, is said to have refused. A private investigator who investigated the crime, Ed Martino, told the newspaper that he spent time in the coroner’s office, and Kirchner “was scared to death.”

The Baltimore Sun covered the unsolved case in this 2008 story.

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