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Branzuela was a wrestling coach at Lowell High School in 1993. He had been a championship wrestler and almost qualified to compete in the Olympics in 1988. He got a haircut on the morning of June 26 and afterwards went to the apartment of his mother, Maria Martinez, at 17th and Mission in San Francisco, California. She was not home at the time. Branzuela went to a nearby Mexican restaurant and had lunch, then went back to Martinez's apartment, but she had not returned so he waited for her at the restaurant for some time.
Later that day, Branzuela apparently took the 22-Fillmore bus to the Marina Green, on the edge of the San Francisco bay about a mile east of the Golden Gate Bridge. He as last seen on the bridge. His wallet, containing a list of telephone numbers, was later found on the bridge's east sidewalk, and someone saw a body floating in the water. Authorities believe that he committed suicide by jumping from the bridge.
Eighteen days passed before Branzuela's family was notified of his presumed death. Martinez accused the bridge's management of negligence. She claimed that barriers or other deterrents should have been erected to prevent suicides. She sued the bridge management for the wrongful death of her son, but the suit was dismissed.
Branzuela's remains have never been recovered and his case continues to be classified as that of a missing person.