Insurance companies halt payment while wife listed as suspect - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Insurance companies halt payment while wife listed as suspect

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - The wife of a prominent veterinarian is accused of murder in his mysterious death.

Robert Stonebreaker was found dead in a Rancho Santa Fe driveway after walking away from a car crash. His wife Pamela is now trying to collect nearly $3 million in life insurance.

The case focused on a car crash, then blunt force trauma to the head unrelated to the crash. The victim's wife is under pressure to clear herself as a suspect.

It's a case full of mystery right from the beginning. A Porsche Carrera discovered off the road near Paseo Delicias and Via del la Valle the night of January 16th, 2010, with owner Robert Stonebreaker nowhere in sight. That is, until the next morning when the homeowner found Stonebreaker dead on his driveway.

"They checked the whole area here and there was no sign of any blood, there was no sign of anything to indicate that the driver had any serious trauma," CHP Sgt. Lewis Hall said.

All signs quickly pointed away from being just a car accident. Along with Stonebreaker's death certificate the investigation pointed towards a homicide. But who would want this well-known veterinarian dead? It had close friends puzzled as well.

"To think it might be a homicide is just unbelievable," a friend said.

But even more unbelievable among those who are close to the Stonebreakers, is that Robert's wife Pamela is now listed in civil court records as a suspect in his death. The widow filed a lawsuit where she's battling with insurance companies that have yet to pay up on $3 million in life insurance policies.

In court records, the insurance companies claim they can't pay -- a sheriff's homicide detective told them Pam Stonebreaker remains a suspect in her husband's murder.

In the court records, Pamela Stonebreaker maintains her innocence, saying "I did not kill my husband, Bob Stonebreaker, nor did I have anything whatsoever to do with his death. I do not know who killed Bob or why he was killed."

In those same court documents, the insurance companies claim they've tried numerous times to clear Pamela's name, but are now longer getting cooperation from her. Her attorney referred us to the statements made in the court records.

The insurance companies could offer the $3 million in life insurance payouts to their children, but according to court records, no decision has been made at this point.

Pamela Stonebreaker has not been charged in the death of her husband.

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