Local News

Apr 16, 2010 8:39 PM by Monica Quintero

Man stabbed to death in Santa Barbara identified

Santa Barbara County Sheriff's identified the victim of a deadly stabbing on Thursday as 44-year-old Robert Burke Simpson of Santa Barbara. They're still searching for the person responsible for the homicide.

The incident happened Thursday night near Arroyo Burro Beach in Santa Barbara.

Friends gathered on Friday to remember Simpson. Flowers and a religious symbol were left behind as a way to pay tribute to him. Erik Laurabee, Simpson's close friend, said, "He's one of my best friends because he would do anything for you."

Friends said he was stabbed in the neck in a Santa Barbara park. He then ended up in a nearby parking lot covered in blood. Officers said when they arrived there was a crowd of 200 to 300 people. Laurabee said, "He'll be in our hearts forever. We'll always love him you know."

Meanwhile, those close to Simpson said alcohol could have played a role in a fight they believe led to Simpson's death. "I think that maybe this is a learning thing for every single one of these individuals that come down here and loosely drink sometimes or just don't think about it and say things they shouldn't," said Laurabee.

Horst Wenzer, Goleta resident, said, "I hope it never happens again because it is a safe place and a good place, you want to keep it like that. That's why I've lived in the Santa Barbara area for 30 years." Residents describe the area as quiet and said this type of crime is unusual for the neighborhood.

Friends also said Simpson was a good man and went to the beach everyday. They also said they think some men from the west side of Santa Barbara could be involved in this fatal stabbing.

If you have any information regarding this case, you are asked to call the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's anonymous tip line at (805) 681-4171.

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