Prominent Dallas-based lawyer Brian Loncar, known to his clients as ‘The Strong Arm’, was found dead Sunday morning. His death comes just two days after a funeral for his daughter, who committed suicide.
Investigators spent most of Sunday at Loncar’s Dallas office, where family representatives say he was found in his car in the parking lot. The medical examiner has not yet confirmed the cause of death.
The Loncar family just suffered the loss of their youngest daughter, Grace. Loncar posted to his Facebook page, Saturday, discussing the pain of losing his daughter, and the depths of his depression; "I just want to get this out in the open so if any of my friends are ever thinking about suicide. I wish you could have seen both the pain and the love that the suicide of a 16-year-old girl causes."
Defense attorney and former judge John Cruezot has been friends with Loncar for 30 years and says it’s been a difficult time for the whole family, “I don't know if he had a heart attack or he did something to himself, I don't know. But just devastation! You know his daughter, then him, and it's just not good. It's just not good.”
Loncar was known for his bold and brash ‘Strong Arm’ commercials that made him a household name in Texas. He has 11 personal-injury offices across the state, comprising what he called an “army of attorneys.”
Defense attorney Pete Schulte says Loncar was more than just a lawyer; he was a brilliant marketing strategist.
“He was able to build an empire," said Schulte. "He would advertise at the key times when people who were injured would be home watching television and he was able to be the household name the strong arm and he would get thousands of cases a year from that marketing.”
“He handled a lot of cases that other lawyers wouldn't handle, and they went to bat," Creuzot said. "They fought for people who others wouldn't because there wasn't enough money or not a big paycheck in it. But he would do it.”
Dallas police have not released any information indicating natural causes, suicide or even the possibility of foul play. Medical experts say an unexplained death is often declared after obvious signs, like a heart attack, are ruled out. The complete autopsy will include a toxicology report that could take weeks to complete.
Loncar’s family released the following statement Sunday afternoon:
"Our family is filled with enormous sadness and profound grief following the death of our beloved son, husband, father, friend, colleague, neighbor, advisor, and a man trusted by many people in Dallas and throughout the state of Texas. We are shocked and numbed by these tragic events and ask the community and the news media to respect our privacy in this most difficult time. Right now, we are hurting and struggling to understand. Today, we are embracing each other; we know this pain and heartache will be with us forever."