RANCHO SANTA FE — Pam Stonebreaker, widow of Dr. Robert Stonebreaker, whose death was ruled a homicide after a car crash in January, said recently that she is trying to move forward while still looking for answers.
“I know the community and everyone really wants resolution, especially myself and the kids,” she said. “There is no information coming from the homicide department and I do not know anything more than
I did the first month of the incident. That seems to be the hardest part for me and my kids is not knowing and not able to put it all behind us.”
She said she is “doing OK.” She gets a little tired and feels overwhelmed at times.
“I am in hopes that it will all slow down and things may get easier for us,” she said.
Pam Stonebreaker said there are days when it is a challenge for her to get out of bed and try to stay on track, but there are many people counting on her and she believes that is what gives her strength.
“Some days I am so teary-eyed and confused because there are no answers or no reasons why,” she said. “I just cannot believe after 26 years working every day with my husband that I am in this position.”
Robert Stonebreaker, 53, was the owner of the Animal and Bird Hospital in Del Mar. He also founded Freeflight, a nonprofit organization for rescued birds and for helping endangered species.
His death was first investigated as a traffic accident on Jan. 16 when his Porsche was found in a ravine near the intersection of Caminito de Conejos and Paseo Delicias in Rancho Santa Fe.
Investigators did not find the driver at the scene of the crash, but the next morning a homeowner on Paseo Delicias found Stonebreaker’s body in their driveway.
Investigators at that point believed they were investigating a fatal traffic accident and that Stonebreaker had left the scene of the crash in search of help. His body was found about 1,000 feet from the crash site.
“It was the medical examiner who told us that his injuries were not consistent with that kind of accident,” said Lt. Dennis Brugos of the San Diego Sheriff’s Department.
He said detectives are still working on the case, but an arrest is not imminent.
Still, Pam Stonebreaker is trying to move forward.
She said she just hired full-time veterinarians at the Animal and Bird Hospital.
“It took me several months to settle in on these two, but I have big shoes to fill,” she said.
Freeflight was just being launched as a nonprofit in November.
“Our first meeting was Jan. 8 and then Bob died, so it has been a huge obstacle for us,” she said. “I have a new board of directors and some great people who are determined to help us keep Bob’s passion alive and keep Freeflight going. This has been a godsend for me.”
She said they will be having their first fundraising gala Oct. 23.
“As for my family we are struggling still with all of it but overall my two girls — 12 and 14 — are amazing,” she said. “They are so concerned with me and really we have all been such strength for each other I am fortunate we are so close to begin with.”
She said Ryan, the couple’s 4-year-old son, has been coping well.
“It took him a while,” she said. “It was really hard on him because he really loved his dad.”
She said he will have the least amount of pain, but the most to lose by not remembering his dad.
“Hopefully he will retain a few memories,” she said.
Pam Stonebreaker said she has no clue what might have happened to her husband or why and on the day of the incident he spent all afternoon with her and the children.
“I know that it is a mystery and I think it was random for some reason, that he was meant to be there for some reason,” she said. “It was his time and someday I hope it will become clear why, but right now we are still struggling with this and just cannot seem to completely grasp what has happened. Hopefully someone might be knocking on my door soon with answers.”