FOOTHILL RANCH – A woman wept silently Sunday
night during a candlelight vigil for her late
next-door neighbor, Mark Reynolds.
Reynolds, 35, an expert mountain biker who
worked as a manager for motocross athletes, was
killed Thursday by a mountain lion while on a ride
in Whiting Ranch Wilderness Park.
"He was a people person - so polite, outgoing,"
recalled the woman, Estrella Madlangbayan. "I
always wanted to give him a welcome to the
neighborhood, but I never got the chance."
Reynolds' friends and neighbors gathered at
dusk outside the Paloma Summit apartments, where
he lived for the last three months of his life.
People remembered him as an exceptionally friendly
newcomer who offered neighborhood kids 50 cents if
they could spell a word he asked them.
Kanisha Lumpkins, the daughter of the leasing
manager at the complex, said her younger brother
was among the children who looked up to Reynolds.
Her brother didn't attend the vigil. "It's a
little too much for him," she said.
Jeremie Caha, a resident who works for a
motocross-apparel company in Mission Viejo, said
he met Reynolds as he was moving into his
apartment three months ago.
"We automatically clicked," Caha remembered.
"We had a lot in common."
The two would often meet in their garages,
talking about bikes and components. "He had the
best gear," Caha said.
John Louch, a friend of Reynolds from the world
of motocross, drove to the vigil from his home in
Laguna Niguel. Louch said he met Reynolds two
years ago and they quickly became friends,
speaking daily on the phone.
"As soon as I met this guy, it just clicked. He
had such a good heart," Louch said.
At a Supercross event in Phoenix this weekend,
a moment of silence was held in Reynolds' memory,
he said. "A lot of the professional riders that
knew him are just in shock," he said.
Louch said Reynolds often asked him to go
mountain biking, but Louch preferred to do his
bicycling on the road. "He said it's much safer up
in the mountains, and look what happened to him,"
he said. "It's just crazy."
Reynolds had lived in Orange County for about a
year and a half, since taking a job with OMS
Sports, a marketing firm in Anaheim. Before moving
to Paloma Summit, a gated community of about 200
apartments, Reynolds lived near the lake in Lake
Forest, Louch said.
Reynolds, who was single, had no family in this
area. He was originally from Missouri.
Some Paloma Summit residents who never met
Reynolds turned out for the vigil.
"It's kind of scary to think it was so close to
home," said Ashlie Fleig. "All these cars and busy
streets, you don't even notice a lot of the time
that it's a wild area."
Steve Carey said he often goes running on the
trail that Reynolds was riding on when he was
killed. Carey said he'll probably return to the
trail when the park reopens. "I haven't seen a lot
of tracks where I go," he said.
Friends and neighbors of Mark Reynolds are
discussing raising funds to create a permanent
memorial to him, such as a park bench or a plaque.
People interested in contributing can contact
Christy Weimer at firstname.lastname@example.org.