San Diego

Friends Gather at Oceanside Bar Where Slain Man Was Regular Patron

Oceanside police launched a homicide investigation Tuesday after a woman returned from work to find her husband dead inside their home.

John Roth, 77, had suffered trauma to his upper body inside the home on North Tremont Street, Oceanside police said.

The man's wife returned home from her work at a local nursing home and called the police just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.

While Oceanside Police Detectives from the Crimes of Violence Unit were investigating the incident, friends poured into Surfside Tap Room where Roth was a regular to enjoy a beer in his memory.

A seat at the bar was occupied by a cold drink, a couple of pictures of Roth and friends, and a card for bar guests to sign.

Those that knew Roth described him as a blunt and funny man. They said he went on to have a successful business career after serving in the military.

"I had a lot of career moves in the county and I talked to him a lot and he gave me advice about moving into management," friend Lynn Collins said. "He was a good source of advice."

Collins said it was John's Hawaiian shirts and fashion sense that drew people to him at Tap Room eight years ago.

Investigators aren't saying whether Roth's home was ransacked or burglarized. However, they did say there was no forced entry. Roth's wife told police she thought it strange that the garage door was open when she got home.

A formal celebration of life will be held at the Surfside Tap Room on Thursday around 5 p.m.

Anyone with information may call Detective Ellgard at (760) 435-4748. 

No other information was available.

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