FT. LAUDERDALE (CBS4) – Fort Lauderdale police launched an investigation into a bizarre discovery in a normally quiet upscale neighborhood of Tarpon River.
On Tuesday, police received a call from a person who said they found the body of a man wrapped in duct tape in a mansion along the 100 block of Southwest Coconut Drive on the New River.
The man was identified as 70-year-old Ronald Vinci.
Crime scene investigators were seen carrying boxes and bags of potential evidence from the 7-thousand square foot home. Detectives say they’re still trying to figure out what happened in the home.
“At this time we don’t really know what transpired,” Fort Lauderdale Police Detective Kathy Collins said. “It is a suspicious death.”
Neighbors focused a lot of attention on the massive home with the boat named “Captain Ron” out back. They also focused a lot of attention on the row of crime scenes vans at the home Wednesday and grisly details emerging from the scene.
“It scares me,” said neighbor Cherie Landess. “It makes me want to go home and lock all my windows and doors.”
But most neighbors — like Nina Westaway — still feel comfortable walking their dogs along the palm tree-lined streets.
“I just want to believe it’s something that happened once and will never happen again here,” Westaway told CBS 4’s Carey Codd. “It’s unheard of in this area.”
According to area residents, the mansion sat vacant for years.
Two weeks ago, however, it sold for $2.9 million. Vinci paid for it in cash, according to the realtor. Vinci made a fortune in Honda car dealerships and real estate in Southern California, CBS4’s Joan Murray reported.
Vinci’s long-time lawyer Michael Vivoli said Vinci was a self-made man who moved to San Diego in the late 1960’s with a bag of tools and $1,500. From that, he owned one of the first Honda dealerships in California. Vivoli said Vinci was well-respected.
“He was a man of his word,” Vivoli said. “He was a man of integrity. He was a guy that if he told you he was going to do something, he would do it.”
Vinci loved flying and owned several airplanes, said Vivoli. The lawyer said Vinci’s family and friends are devastated by the news.
“Everybody’s just horrified to hear that something like this happened,” he said.
Vinci leaves behind a son, Kerry, and a grandson.
“I know that Kerry’s really upset that his son’s not gonna get to enjoy his grandfather,” Vivoli said.