Suspect in disappearance to be brought back to L.A.

Times Staff Writer

Considered a flight risk after being caught in Florida carrying fake IDs, a convicted sex offender named as a suspect in the disappearance of a college student from Orange County was to be brought back to Los Angeles on Friday by bail agents who revoked his bond.

John Steven Burgess was scheduled to land at Los Angeles International Airport late Friday and be booked at an L.A. County jail, according to Robert Jerlow, a private investigator with Redline Risk Management, a bail recovery firm serving Southern California.

Burgess, who has not been charged in Donna Jou’s disappearance, had been free on $250,000 bail in an unrelated case and was scheduled to return to a Los Angeles courtroom Oct. 10 for a hearing on a charge of failing to register as a sex offender.

Jerlow, who traveled to Florida with a bondsman to pick up Burgess, said the bail company and relatives of Burgess who put up the money worried he might flee after he was found carrying a fake driver’s license and Social Security card last week.


The IDs were found by police during an arrest at a Jacksonville video store, where Burgess was suspected of stealing several DVDs, including “Natural Born Killers” and “Death Proof,” officials said.

Burgess told Jacksonville sheriff’s deputies that he obtained the fake Social Security card and California driver’s license, which identified him as Logan Anderson, at a Hollywood tourist shop.

Jerlow said Redline also received information that Burgess “was trying to gather money and vehicles from family members.” Jerlow said the family wanted the bail revoked, but his firm could have done so without their permission because Burgess violated the terms of his bail by getting arrested.

Burgess, 35, has been named by Orange County sheriff’s investigators as a suspect in the disappearance of Jou, a biology student at San Diego State. Jou was living with her mother in Rancho Santa Margarita for the summer when she vanished.


Jou was last seen by family June 23 when Burgess picked her up for a date and took her to a party at his rented home in West Los Angeles, authorities say.

Burgess left California shortly after Jou disappeared. He was arrested July 25 in Jacksonville after police said they saw him trying to dispose of a bag of cocaine.

Burgess was convicted of felony drug possession and sentenced to time served. He was extradited to L.A. on an outstanding warrant for failure to register as a sex offender and later released on the $250,000 bail.