La Jolla Millionaire May Have Been Strangled

Police looking into suspected foul play

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Watson was found by friends on June 8, after he failed to show up at a meeting.

    Homicide investigators are looking into the death of a La Jolla millionaire, they suspect he may have been strangled. The official report from the Medical Examiner's office has yet to be released, and police say it could take up to four weeks.

    John Watson, 65, was found dead in his home on June 8. Detectives previously thought Watson had passed away from natural causes. An investigation into his death began after a friend of Watson, 59-year old Kent Keigwin, allegedly tried to steal $7.5 million from Watson's estate. 

    During the initial autopsy, the medical examiner's also found the cause of his death may have been from something other than natural causes.

    “We were contacted by the medical examiners office and they had some concerns on whether there was some foul play involved,” said San Diego Police Lt. Kevin Rooney.

    Keigwin is being held in county jail on $2.5 million bail and faces felony charges of identity theft, grand theft of personal property, burglary and forgery of documents, said Lt. Rooney.

    He's accused of opening an account, in Watson's name and transferring money from the victim’s bank account into the new account.

    Watson was an executive with Johnson & Johnson. He became involved in Tech Coast Angels in 2008 after stepping down as chief executive of Ionian Technologies, a local biotechnology company. He was a board member in the group, which provides money for startup companies, said Steve Flaim, president of the investment group.

    Flaim said, “We are absolutely shocked by this.  This sort of thing is unheard of.  He had made plenty of money, saved it.  Now he was going to enjoy it.  He enjoyed it for two years and now he's gone, it's very sad.”

    Keigwin’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for next week.