Sheriff's investigators looking into death of Ranch - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Sheriff's investigators looking into death of Rancho Santa Fe man

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RANCHO SANTA FE (CNS) - An investigation was continuing Tuesday into the death of a radiologist whose body was found outside his Rancho Santa Fe home.

The body of Dr. Kenneth Howard Gerber, 62, was found Friday morning in a grove of palm trees outside his home in the the 4600 block of Sun Valley Road on the western outskirts of Rancho Santa Fe, according to sheriff's Lt. Larry Nesbit.

A deputy was initially called out to assist fire personnel with medical aid. Although the deputy was not comfortable classifying Gerber's death as natural, homicide was not suspected until an autopsy was performed, Nesbit said.

A cause of death was not released.

In a case where an arrest has not been made, autopsy results are sealed to prevent false confessions or statements, Nesbit said. The results would remain sealed until an arrest was made, he said.

"The cause is only known to the person that murdered him," Nesbit said. "It has the potential to negatively effect our investigation."

A motive for the crime was unknown.

"At this time, we don't know if he was a victim of a random attack or whether he was targeted," Nesbit said.

A neighbor told U-T San Diego Gerber had health problems that caused him to suspend his medical practice, leading to financial problems.

Gerber's $1.6 million home had been foreclosed on and another house he owned in Solana Beach was foreclosed on in 2009, U-T San Diego reported. Gerber filed for bankruptcy in December and the case was discharged in April, according to the paper.

Nesbit said sheriff's officials were aware of the victim's financial issues.

"We are digging into that, but we don't have enough to say at this point whether it is or isn't related to those issues," Nesbit said.

Sheriff's officials asked anyone with information on Gerber's death to call the Homicide Detail at (858) 974-2321, after hours at (858) 565-5200 or to contact Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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