From a recent Facebook post in April, Leighton Dorey IV appeared to be on top of the world during a ski tour in the Chamonix Mountains of France.
Now, the 39-year-old man is behind bars at the Vista Detention Facility, suspected in the death of his father, Leighton Dorey III.
According to San Diego County Sheriff's Department investigators, the 71-year-old man was found dead by his wife inside their home on the 17000 block of La Brisa in Rancho Santa Fe.
Dorey had been strangled to death and had wounds to his head, neck and chest.
"As long as I've known him, there was some stress between him and his father," said Jeff Weston, speaking of Dorey's son.
He added that the stress, in part, centered on financial issues.
Weston told NBC 7 he employed Leighton Dorey IV as a remote, contract coder for his Orange County company over the past four years. That contract had recently ended.
He said Dorey left France where he had been living and returned to the United States to look for work.
Many in the neighborhood called the elder Dorey as a friendly person.
“To know him was to make you feel very good,” explained his friend, Roger Lindland. “It wasn't that he was hilarious. It’s just that he was a clean, clear thinking person and a joy to be around him and he challenged you.”
Lindland said Dorey did not speak about his relationship with his son.
“Leighton was a very thoughtful man and a decent, decent, guy. It’s so shocking. Such a tragedy," Lindland added.
Leighton Dorey IV was taken into custody in Riverside County Wednesday morning. He will be booked on one count of murder, deputies said.
He is scheduled to make his first court appearance later this week.