Who is the real Darwin Vela and why did his dog return without him??

I spied this story earlier on KTLA’s online news site here in Los Angeles. Beyond the obvious puzzling mystery raised by the events in question, I was rather astounded at just how this story sounds like a plot ripped straight from the ratty pages of a bad television script.

Tuesday night, about 9 o’clock, Darwin Vela, 22, left his Los Angeles home to take his chocolate Lab for a walk. A short while later, the dog returned, still leashed, but without Darwin at the other dog whispering end. His fiancee, Kelly McLaren, saw that the leash was full of blood and the dog appeared to be “cowering” as she told the Los Angeles Times.

McLaren immediately contacted the police who began searching the area to no avail. Police dogs could not find a scent trail and Vela left his cell phone at home and he has not attempted to contact family or friends who note he has never gone missing before.

McLaren said her fiance has never disappeared without notice and is “not the kind of person to do that now.”

He’s especially close to his mother, who also lives in Los Angeles, she said.

“He wouldn’t. Even if he could somehow leave me — which he wouldn’t, we’re going to get married, we’re starting a family — he would never, ever leave his mother,” McLaren said.

That whole “leave with the dog, the dog returns alone with a bloodied leash” narrative sounds like the unmotivated product of a Hollywood script committee. But it’s real life.

And what’s up with these photos? The Times and KTLA agree this is Vela:

Vela

However, KTLA goes one step further and attaches another photograph of Vela which really looks nothing like the other Vela. Is this the same person? Where did KTLA dig that up?

Velawho

Hell no. The “Vela” on the left has a face plant, a subject I spent too much time discussing in yesterday’s insightful post. The Vela on the left looks like the type to find “interesting” situations, while the one on the right doesn’t. If this is the same guy, we should hope the one on the left is the older photograph for it shows forward evolution; if the one on the left is more current, that might explain some things. And maybe nothing. I think they aren’t the same person.

Well I sure hope the real Darwin Vela and his leash are reunited and that he’s OK.