Death of federal informant found this week at El Sereno high school campus remains under investigation

Image of Woodrow Wilson High School where a federal informant Valentin Broeksmit was found dead on the school's campus.
Drone image of Woodrow Wilson High School, where federal informant Valentin Broeksmit was found dead on the campus.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

A former federal informant who went missing for a year before he was found dead at an El Sereno high school campus earlier this week appears to have spent the weekend alone at the school before his death, authorities said Friday.

Cleaning crews at Woodrow Wilson High School found Valentin Broeksmit’s body just before 7 a.m. on Monday, according to Sgt. Rudy Perez of the Los Angeles School Police Department. He was last seen alive by friends and family on April 6, 2021.

No foul play is suspected, according to authorities. An official cause of death is pending an investigation, along with the coroner’s examination and toxicology report, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Broeksmit, 46, was an informant who worked with federal authorities investigating former President Trump’s relationship with the German financial giant Deutsche Bank, police said. He turned over his late father’s classified files from the bank to federal and state investigators, according to a 2019 profile in the New York Times.


Born in Ukraine, Broeksmit was adopted by Bill Broeksmit, his mother’s second husband, according to the New York Times profile. As an adult, Valentin Broeksmit had a history of opioid abuse. He’d been a member of an unsuccessful rock band.

A portrait photo of Valentin Broeksmit.
Valentin Broeksmit in 2006.
(Mat Szwajkos / Getty Images)

According to his social media feed, Broeksmit spent his time in northeast Los Angeles not far from where his body was discovered.

Over the years, Broeksmit embraced his status as a whistleblower and referred to himself on Twitter as a “comically terrible spy.” But last year, Los Angeles police issued a missing person alert for Broeksmit at the request of his family and friends.

He was last seen driving a red Mini Cooper in Los Angeles’ Griffith Park a year ago, authorities said. But it appeared from numerous social media posts in the weeks leading up to his death that he had spoken to some people earlier this year.

Cleaning crews at the El Sereno school found Broeksmit lying on the ground in a courtyard on campus. Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics were unable to revive him.

He was pronounced dead at the scene, according to authorities. Perez said classes at the school resumed while investigators isolated the scene and removed the body.

Police said there did not appear to be any trauma to Broeksmit’s body, which was released to the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. Detectives with the LAPD’s Central Bureau Homicide Unit were notified and conducted follow-up interviews with potential witnesses.