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Oceano homicide victim remembered as kind, good neighbor

Posted at 6:34 PM, Jan 25, 2019

Investigators have identified the victim whose body was found inside a home on the 1400 block of Strand Way around 9:45 Thursday morning as 90-year-old Lawrence Bross. Neighbors know him as Larry.

“Never did I think something this terrible would happen to such a nice guy,” said Cindy Maddy. Her parents have lived next to Bross for 45 years.

On Friday, several ATV’s, a drone, and more than a dozen search and rescue personnel in their orange uniforms scoured Strand Way searching for any clues in the death of the longtime Oceano resident.

“He was always really kind and he was always a good neighbor,” Maddy said. “He would walk down after my dad passed away, he would always come by and check on my mom.”

Bross was seen as an activist in pushing to protect the Dunes, as well as working to end vehicle recreation.

But Pismo Dune rider Nick Lalanne said Bross remained respectful in their disagreement.

“He was willing to sit down and talk and discuss the issues that the Dunes face,” said Lalanne. “If we had more people like him who would come down respectfully come over and talk to you, anybody on anything in a respectful manner, and listen and talk, you know on both sides, it would be huge.”

The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue team combed the area outside the victim’s home and the beach area outside neighboring homes. Crime scene taped lined a handful of the homes. One team member used a metal detector. With the help of their K9, they also scanned the beach all in an effort to find evidence, according to officials.

“I am just kind of shocked,” said Michael McCormick. “I come down here three or four times a week and walk the beach.”

“We have family here visiting for vacation so when we arrived there was quite the disturbance in the neighborhood and it just happened to be right next door,” said Stephen Punt.

This marks day two of the homicide investigation. Bross was found dead inside his home following a welfare check. Strand Way and Juanita Avenue have been blocked off with yellow tape since mid-morning on Thursday. Locals add that they’re not used to seeing this much law enforcement presence.

“Never, no,” McCormick said. “This is a little vacation area here and people are here just to enjoy themselves and relax.”

The Sheriff’s Office Emergency Command rig is set up outside the victim’s home, a Search and Rescue unit is across the street and handfuls of detectives cover the streets as they work to piece together who killed the Oceano resident.

No arrests have been made. If you have any information, call the Sheriff’s Office. Officials add that an autopsy is underway to determine a cause of death.