San Diego

OPD Offers Up To $6,000 for Information in Homicide Investigation

With few leads to follow in the homicide investigation of a man found dead in his Oceanside apartment in Mid-August, police are offering a monetary award for information that leads to an arrest.

John Roth, 77, was found dead by his wife when she came home from work on Aug. 14. The Oceanside Police Department hasn't said how Roth died, but said he was found with blunt force trauma to his upper body.

Investigators believe a burglar entered Roth's home that morning or the night before. Jewelry, a laptop, Roth's widow's wedding ring, and a number of antique unique Chinese coins were stolen from the home.

The back door was open and Roth might have been sleeping before the burglar killed him, OPD said.

The homicide investigation has been going on for nearly a month and OPD still don't have anyone in custody, so Wednesday it announced a $6,000 reward for information that lands the right person in cuffs.

After a news conference announcing the reward, Roth's widow Zui Pang took the time to show NBC 7 around the home and share bits of their relationship.

Pang said she was drawn to him because of his height and good looks.

"He was just, I saw him because he was tall, I had to look at him like this (looks upward), I said 'Oh, he's very handsome.'"

Investigators say the 77-year-old veteran was loved around town.

"John was a little bit of a celebrity if you will," OPD Detective Erik Ellgard said. "He was known in many establishments downtown."

In fact, as word spread on the day of his death, friends poured into Surfside Tap Room where Roth was a regular to enjoy a drink in his memory. A reserved 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.

Anyone with information may call Detective Ellgard at (760) 435-4748, or if you wish to remain anonymous you can call Crime Stoppers number at (888) 580-8477.

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