GILROY (CBS SF) – The suspicious death of a man in Gilroy on Monday has now been ruled a homicide and police said two women, caught on a convenience store surveillance video using the victim’s credit cards, are considered “persons of interest” wanted for questioning.
Fifty-six-year-old Robert Joseph Heiser was found dead in his home at about 3 a.m. in the 1400 block of Bay Tree Drive, near Santa Teresa Boulevard, after neighbors called police about barking dogs.
Gilroy police Sgt. Pedro Espinoza says police found the man unconscious in his home. Emergency crews attempted to revive him but he was pronounced dead at the scene. While police found no visible evidence of violent death on his body, an autopsy later revealed that Heiser suffered from blunt force trauma.
Espinoza said the women who had Heiser’s credit cards were last seen at a convenience store in East San Jose just hours after his body was found.
The women are described as Hispanic, aged 18 to 23 years, with black hair, one wearing a black parka and a black and white shirt and black pants, the other wearing a dark blue polo shirt and dark blue basketball shorts.
Police said Heiser lived alone, and used to work in the IT industry.
Neighbors Robert and Karen Oneto, who said they didn’t hear anything unusual that night, called him a family man.
“He would often have his grandkids over when it was hot weather, friends over,” Karen Oneto said.
Robert Oneto said spoke to him the night before he was killed.
“He offered to help me work on my yard and we’d always talk over the fence so to speak. Really nice guy. Santa Clara University graduate, same age as me, couldn’t have asked for a better neighbor,” he said.
Gilroy police are requesting those with information about the persons of interest or anything about the homicide to call the department at (408) 846-0330.
The homicide was the first of the year in Gilroy, Espinoza said.