News Old - DO NOT USE - The Coast News Rancho Santa Fe

Death of local veterinarian still unsolved

RANCHO SANTA FE — Who or what killed Dr. Robert Stonebreaker? It has been more than six months since the veterinarian’s body was found on a driveway in Rancho Santa Fe and the investigation is ongoing.
“We are still looking at it, but I can’t say an arrest is imminent,” said Lt. Dennis Brugos of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
The death was first investigated as a traffic mishap on Jan. 16, when Stonebreaker’s Porsche was found near the intersection of Caminito de Conejos and Paseo Delicias. It appeared he had lost control on a curve and plunged into a ravine.
Investigators did not find the driver at the scene of the crash, but the next morning a homeowner on Paseo Delicias found Stonebreaker’s body in their driveway.
“They (resident) didn’t know him, but they knew of him,” Brugos said. “They had some literature of his.”
Investigators at that point believed they were investigating a fatal traffic accident and that Stonebreaker had left the scene of the crash in search of help. His body was found about 1,000 feet from the crash site.
“It was the medical examiner who told us that his injuries were not consistent with that kind of accident,” Brugos said.
Brugos said Stonebreaker had head injuries, not the type a person would receive just falling down and hitting his head.
Investigators continue to look at all possibilities including someone having a vendetta against him, road rage or even suicide.
Stonebreaker, 53, owner of the Animal and Bird Hospital in Del Mar, was well-known for his work with birds. He and his wife Pam worked side by side at the business.
He purchased the Del Mar Veterinary Clinic in 1998, changing the name to convey his interest in birds. He also founded Free Flight, a nonprofit organization for rescued birds and for helping endangered species.
Stonebreaker and his wife had three children — Kristin, Kelli and Ryan.
Brugos asks that anyone with information call his office at (858) 974-2321.