Instead he died at the wheel of a stolen lorry, clutching his rosary and taking Takada with him, their bodies consumed by the inferno (metaphorically as much as literally) and his fractured reputation consolidated as a Wammy House hero. Illuminating so many clues with his purpose driven suicidal stunt, that Near could denounce Kira on behalf of them all. Mello died in Tokyo on January 26th 2010. He'd just turned twenty-one.
All this we know about Mello's death. But where was Mihael Keehl born?
In Death Note Canon, Where Did Mello Come From?
In short, the field is wide open for head canons galore and fan-fiction writers to run rampant in answering the question of Mello's birthplace for themselves. Me included, though there was method and research behind my own designation of Yugoslavia for Mello's country of origin in the It Matters series.
Why my Canon Stated Mello Came from Yugoslavia
I strive for realism in my fan fiction, insofar as it's possible with killer notebooks, shinigami and genius orphan trafficking rings going on in the actual canon background. So when it became imperative to reveal Mello's nationality, I took the clues at hand and interrogated them to see if clues to Mello's country of birth could be discerned.
Item one was to look at Mello's real name. Historically, were there any Mihael Keehls anywhere in the world, as discerned via my genealogical databases? YES! And he lived in California. True story. Travelled there from New York, which he entered in 1870 by ship, then continued on west. Not quite our Mihael Keehl, but a real one in existence once, and spookily in the right place.
Oh! And a century earlier, there was another Mihael Keehl holed out in Sacramento, California.
One quick internet search later and my list is getting narrower - Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, Bulgaria, but mostly from countries which formed part of the former Yugoslavia. Which also featured on my surname list.
So could a native Yugoslav look like Mello? I searched digital images with the tag 'blond' + 'male' + 'Yugoslav' and somewhere in the mix, I discovered Andrej Pejic (now Andreja Pejic, but still physically male at the time of my search).
And there you go, a credible place of origin for Death Note's Mello. So where would you have had him born, in your head canon, on December 13th 1989, 26 years ago today?