Steve Pease, 57, was found dead on a beach 50 miles south of Fort Bragg.
ROSEVILLE, Calif. - After a month of searching, the body of Sammy's Rockin' Island Bar and Grill co-owner Steve Pease has been found, long-time friend Chris Maudru said.
On Tuesday afternoon, officials said the body found on a beach, about 50 miles south of Fort Bragg on Sunday, belonged to 57-year-old Pease.
"It's just devastating to get the finality of this whole thing. To be that they found his body in Mendocino is just horrible," Maudru said.
Pease was last seen on Oct. 25, and his last phone call or text was on Oct. 28th. Fort Bragg Police Chief Scott Mayberry said Pease spent the night of Nov. 2 at the Surf and Sand Lodge and checked out the following day. That was the last report of Pease before his body was discovered.
Not long after Pease disappeared, it was revealed that he was in default on a $1.5 million loan from the Roseville Community Development Corporation after he had missed a $9,000 payment for the month of October. The money was used to help start the restaurant, themed for rock icon Sammy Hagar.
Maudru said he did not believe Pease's disappearance was connected to problems with the loan.
"He would never leave town over a $9,000 bill because it's just not the reality of the way Steve was. He's a fighter," Maudru said.
He did not want to speculate on why Pease may have decided to leave town or whether he might have been despondent.
The restaurant closed its doors on Nov. 10. The Roseville Community Development Corporation has said it hopes to reopen the restaurant as soon as possible.
Maudru said Pease's body had been in the ocean before it was found and investigators didn't see any obvious signs of foul play. The cause of death has not been released yet.
"Loved his community, loved his friends, had big plans for revitalizing Roseville and Vernon Street," long-time friend Kat Maudru said. "None of this makes sense."