Oceanside Police cruiser
Oceanside Police cruiser. Photo courtesy Oceanside Police Department.

A homeless man was arrested in connection with the slaying of a retiree two months ago in his Oceanside home, police said Monday.

DNA evidence obtained from the scene of 77-year-old John Roth’s slaying in August led homicide detectives to identify 21-year-old Carey Lamont Reid Jr. as the perpetrator, Oceanside Police spokesman Tom Bussey said. Reid is known to be a transient who lives in Oceanside.

Officers were called to the 500 block of North Coast Highway on Sunday for a person lying on the ground in a parking lot, Bussey said. Officers arrived, identified the man as Reid and took him into custody.

Reid was booked into the Vista Detention Facility on suspicion of first-degree murder, according to jail records. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

The parking lot is located directly behind the residence where Roth was found dead, Bussey said.

A back door was found open, but there were no signs of forced entry or a struggle at the couple’s home in the 500 block of North Tremont Street when Roth was found by his wife shortly before 7 a.m. on Aug. 14, Detective Erik Ellgard said.

Roth had suffered severe trauma to his upper body, according to police, who have withheld the nature of the fatal wounds.

Zui Pang, 41, had last seen her husband alive about 16 hours before she returned home, Ellgard said.

Missing from the victim’s home were some of the couple’s possessions, including costume jewelry, a wooden jewelry box, an Asus laptop computer, an LG cellphone and Pang’s wedding ring.

Four days later, an acquaintance of the victim found Pang’s stolen purse, photos of the couple and other personal effects of theirs dumped in an alley off North Ditmar Street, a few blocks from their home.

–City News Service