Son of Kelly Gearhart dead at 21

March 16, 2012

Kelly Gearhart

Jake Gearhart, the son of embattled former North County developer Kelly Gearhart, recently died of a drug overdose at a rehab center in the Los Angeles area.

Amid allegations that Kelly Gearhart helped defraud investors out of more than $100 million in an alleged Ponzi scheme, he moved to Wadsworth, Ohio, in 2009. The move occurred shortly after threats of physical violence by an angry investor.

After his father moved away, Jake Gearhart stayed with friends or relatives in San Luis Obispo County. Friends of the family said the cloud over his father and harassment directed at him because of his father’s alleged misdeeds took a toll on the young man.

Workers at the rehab found Jake Gearhart deceased from a heroin overdose on a bathroom floor.


I would venture to say that most of us on this site are caring loving parents. I would respectfully request that you all mourn the lost life of this young man, regardless of who he is, that obviously has dealth with great difficulties in his short life. PLEASE, put the ill feelings, hate, and negative comments away on this and say a loving caring thought for this young man and those who suffer today because of his loss. Condolences to his grieving family and friends.


Thank you…


This is very sad and I send my condolences to Jake’s family, friends and all who loved him.

Frankly I’m surprised that “friends of the family” would attempt to link this drug overdose with the “sins of the father” as if Jake only started using heroin after his father’s wrong doing (GROSS WRONG DOING’S) were exposed. I suspect Jake has been using drugs for a long time and as with many IV drug users, he took too much and his luck ran out, which is ironic when I consider that he was in a rehab and probably told himself this would be his last “fix” before he went straight. Speaking of rehab’s, I’m surprised that people are blaming the rehab facility, if Jake was a voluntary patient/student he was free to come and go and was responsible for his own actions.

Again, this is very sad news to hear.


I expect a rehab center to be firm in its mission and have safety measures in place to make sure its patients do not have drugs, such as heroin, on them while in the facility. Not only for that patient’s sake, but for the other patients as well.

It could be that Jake took the heroin while outside the facility and then returned, but we don’t know this.


danika, It seems to me that if a rehab facility has to just about strip search and actually they would have to strip search to find hidden drugs, then the people who have enrolled in the program aren’t ready to quit and they won’t quit, at least not during that enrollment. Many people return to rehab many times before they quit using addictive drugs especially heroin. In fact, I would think that searching a voluntary participant would be like telling them that you don’t believe they can quit?

Of course if they’re dealing with a teenager who was placed there against their will by their parents, then that would be a different story but Jake was an adult.


I am not experienced when it comes to drug use. Admittedly, I have kept myself on the “straight and narrow” path. But there just seems to be something overwhelmingly wrong about someone dying of a drug overdose in a drug rehab center.


In the last year, I have become very familiar with rehabs and the jail system. Cindy, you are right. There are no locked doors in a rehab facilities – the addict is free to come and go at will. Drug are availabe to all that want it… The rehabs do surprise drug testing to ensure the addict are clean and sober… Jail is also an easy place to buy/use drugs. If the addict wants it, no problem… I misakenly thought the only place the addict would be forced to be clean was in jail – boy was I wrong…Adiction is a disease – the only hope for the addict is recovery and that is NOT a given…


5 will get you 10 Gearhart is already scheming to make a profit from this. He will sue the rehab and then sue SLO county for creating a harsh environment which triggered his son’s addiction and overdose. He will of course remain blameless.


This thread disgusts me.

It’s one thing to have an opinion of someone’s unlawful actions. It’s quite another to presume to know the heart of a grieving man, much less assume that a father is “already scheming to profit from” his child’s death.

Who’s more pathetic? Wait…don’t answer that.


It’s very sad, I agree this thread as so many do has degraded to gutter level, it’s disgusting.


I don’t think it’s appropriate to take the father to task for a civil matter when he’s lost a son. There’s been more than adequate forum for that.


Wow,,,,,, I couldn’t agree with you more.


Madoff, now this. Man, another son of an evildoer father dead or otherwise hurt in some way. I’ve seen it repeatedly. Anybody remember, “The sins of the father befall the son” or something close, sorry. It’s not new by any means and I do believe the mechanism exists that realizes it.

To all guys, in the world, wanna do bad stuff then watch your son suffer? Do good stuff .Weird, wild and r-e-a-l.


What a rotten shame …especailly for someone so young. ( Yes, I now consider 21 to be ‘young’ . )

Adults make bad decisions, and then have to suffer the consequences; but it seems to me that this young person had plenty of bad news dealt his way. Didn’t stand a chance.


All the posters that are taking this opportunity to bag on Jakes Father, are wack. Shame on you all. Wow, Just Wow.


Shame on you. Gearhead wiped out around 1000 people. Along with his criminal buddy Miller at Hurst Financial he has done unimaginable damage to them and the local economy, affecting even many others as well. Now we see he might have raised Jake poorly, and through his misdeeds might have contributed to Jake’s death. Gearhead is a true bum, I hope he gets his due soon. I’m not alone.


No shame on me, I wasnt dumb enough to go for those high risk investments that have no roots, history or background to back them up. Well even those places tanked in the economy. So did everyone else including Gearhart, and if they didnt know those types of investments were considered “High Risk” shame on them for not doing their homework. You can line up with everyone else that got jacked by the same thing, tons of banks, tons of financial institutions, tons of contractors and tons of citizens that had visions of security. No one was imune to this. So line up and suck it up. Cut your losses and move. Stop riding on the back of a troubled kid to vent your poison. Who says you? Who are you to say anything about the way he raised Jake? You HotDog are noone in my book.


There is a significant difference between “high risk investment” and “fraud.” Kelly Gearhart is being accused of FRAUD.


And his attorney and partner? What was his name?


Grigger Jones


I think you could be human enough to step away from your anger and bitterness towards Kelly Gearhart for long enough to realize a young man took his life. Jake Gearhart died. He deserves some respect.


The really sad part in my opinion is that this wouldn’t even be news if Jake was not a Gearhart. Say he was any other kid… do you think this would even be printed here? Not! A family lost a young man and no matter who he was it is a tragedy.


Laceyj you just nailed it. If he had another name we wouldn’t be reading about it How sad is that?


Potential for a civil action and enormous payout. Maybe enough to pay off Kelly’s investors.


remember the three Cs of the adict and addiction. As much as I dilike his father – he didn’t cause his son to use… he could’t conrol his son’s drug use and he couldn’t cure it either… The addict will do ANYTHING to get drugs, becuse he was an addict. I, too, want to know the name of the rehab where he died… We (Nar-Anon members) need to know the places that aren’t safe. We can’t help the addict – only the addict can help themselvs… Pray for Jake’s. That he is a peace.