R.I.P. Mickey Dunlap, Former Pasadena Student Who Seemed Like He Might Buck Long Odds

In 2000 we did a cover story on "the strange, savage and sweet life" of Mickey Dunlap, a kid from Pasadena who'd been abandoned by druggie parents and was being helped by some caring people in school and the police department.

Despite some tough obstacles, things were looking good:

He's dead set on graduating and going to San Jacinto Junior College, where he wants to get an associate's degree in computer electronics and go to work for the school district as a computer technician.

Somewhere in the intervening years, however, things went off the rails. Dunlap was found dead in a Wichita Falls storage unit last week. He had apparently been homeless and sought refuge from the cold there; the building caught on fire.

The Times Record News reports:

It was unknown how long the victim had been in this area; however, records show he had spent some time at the Wichita Falls Faith Mission.

"It's such a sad thing to hear. I know Mickey and in fact I just saw him walking around the streets a couple of weeks ago," said Mission Caseworker Arnold Vasquez when he learned of Dunlap's death Friday....

"I'm disappointed because Mickey knew he could have stayed here. With the weather being so cold lately, we would have taken him in," Vasquez said.

The paper said no one was sure how long he'd been living in the area, or his reasons for coming there.

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