Photo Gallery: TV repairman found dead inside business
SAN BERNARDINO -- Laurie Cone was looking forward to celebrating her 29th wedding anniversary with her husband on Monday.
But when she returned home in the wee hours after a night out gambling with her daughter, she found tragedy instead.
John "Jack" Cone, 64, was found dead in the bedroom of his home in the 2100 block of North Sierra Way.
"Detectives were not able to determine what caused his death. It's obviously pending a coroner's report, but there was blunt force trauma," said San Bernardino Police Lt. Paul Williams.
San Bernardino homicides 2012
April 2: John "Jack" Cone, 64, was found dead in the bedroom of his home in the 2100 block of North Sierra Way. Police say there was blunt-force trauma. They also say someone broke into his home, which is also the site of Cone's repair shop called D/C Radio and Television. Numerous items were stolen, including handguns and Cone's white 2003 Ford F-150 quad cab truck.
March 29: Brandon Morrow, 40, died in an officer-involved shooting in a Stater Bros. parking lot at the corner of Highland and Del Rosa avenues. Morrow exchanged gunfire with San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies, leaving one deputy with a leg wound.
March 4: Andy Nath, 25, of San Bernardino suffered multiple stab wounds outside the Pool Club at 1946 South E St. just before 2 a.m. He died about an hour after the attack.
Feb. 27: Anthony Dewayne Mitchell, 15, of Rialto died after being shot by three people in the 1100 block of North Wilson Street. Police say an after-school disagreement near Arroyo Valley High sparked the shooting. A man and two teen boys were arrested.
Feb. 1: Roberto Elizarraraz, 19, of Highland and Angel Xavier Perez, 22, of Redlands were killed in an apartment complex driveway in the 1400 block of North Sepulveda Avenue during an argument with two other men.
Jan. 27: Steven Guzman, 15, of San Bernardino was fatally shot in the 1500 block of North Belle Street while walking with friends in his neighborhood.
Jan. 18: Gabriel Moraga, 27, of San Bernardino was shot at an apartment complex at 2122 W. Chestnut Ave. and died six days later.
Police say someone broke into his home, which is also the site of Cone's repair shop called D/C Radio and Television.
They stole numerous items including handguns and Cone's white 2003 Ford F-150 quad cab truck.
Laurie Cone said she and her husband had been remodeling the business and were preparing to sell it. A "for sale" sign was in front of the business Monday.
But now she's not sure she can return to the home to wait for its sale.
"I don't even know if I'm in an emotional state to clean out the place of all my stuff," she said. "I may have to walk away and never look back."
John Cone, an Illinois native, came to San Bernardino in 1968 with his parents. He just left the U.S. Army after serving for three years.
He went to work for his father at a coffee shop that was eventually transformed into a television repair business at the corner of Ninth Street and Tippecanoe Avenue.
They moved the business to its present location in 1972. The initials D.C. stand for Cone's father's name, Donald Cone.
Cone's wife said the business was burglarized in the late 1980s, but no crimes had occurred there since then.
Laurie Cone took her daughter out to San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino on Sunday night and returned home at 4:15 a.m. Monday.
She called her husband to ask him to open the gate, but he didn't answer. John Cone had been feeling ill earlier and went to sleep early.
"I thought he might have just been sleeping really heavy," she said.
But then she noticed an electric gate on the property had been opened improperly.
She got into the home and found her husband unconscious in the bedroom.
"They surprised him," she said. "He didn't see them coming. He was still in the bedroom. If he heard someone in the shop, he would have thrown on some shorts and went to investigate."
Police are still trying to determine how Cone's killer got into the business because it is protected by wrought iron gates, both around the perimeter and covering the windows.
The business sits next to a hair salon, a bar and small homes.
Fred Chamorro, who lives in a penthouse above the salon, says he didn't know Cone, but he too has fallen victim to crimes in the neighborhood.
About six years ago, he says he was beaten by a man, and the neighboring medical supply business where he works has been burglarized twice in the past month.
He feels slightly nervous when all the businesses on Sierra close down at night and he has to return to his small apartment.
"I have no neighbors. I feel isolated on this block," he said.
Cone's truck has a chrome grill and the license plate number 7C49039. His wife says it has brown and gray stripes on the sides.
Anyone with information may call Detective Al Tello, 909-384-5747. Tips may be submitted anonymously to the police's hotline, 909-384-5656.