Former San Diego car dealer found dead in FL mansion - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Former San Diego car dealer found dead in FL mansion

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FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (CBS 8) - Fort Lauderdale police are investigating the suspicious death of 70-year-old Ronald Vinci, a self-made millionaire who made his fortune through a string of successful Honda dealerships throughout Southern California.

Following a 911 call, police discovered Vinci's corpse in the $3 million Florida mansion he had purchased only weeks earlier. According to published reports, his body was wrapped in duct tape.

"At this time, we don't really know what transpired," said a spokeswoman for the police department. "It is a suspicious death."

The 70-year-old, who had started out selling motorcycles in San Diego in the 1960's, eventually made his fortune from a string of Honda dealerships, like Pacific Honda in Kearny Mesa, throughout Southern California and Las Vegas, as well as through real estate deals.

He had since sold the business, moving from Rancho Santa Fe to Florida for retirement, hoping to spend time with his son, Kerry, and his grandson.

"I know that Kerry is really upset that his son is not going to get to enjoy his grandfather," said Vinci's attorney, Michael Vivoli.

Vinci was sharing his new 7000-square foot home in an affluent Fort Lauderdale neighborhood with his girlfriend.

His boat, named "Captain Ron," was docked south of downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Wednesday, investigators spent hours collecting bags and boxes of evidence, carrying them out of the home. Nervous neighbors watched the investigation unfold.

"It scares me," said one neighbor."It makes me want to go home and lock all my windows and doors."

"I just want to believe it's something that happened once and will never happen again here," said another neighbor. "It is unheard of in this area."

Fort Lauderdale authorities say they are awaiting the results of an autopsy to confirm the exact cause of Vinci's death.

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