Palm Springs - It's been two years since friends of Clifford Lambert saw the 60-year-old man alive. "He was the best of friends, caring person always asked what he could do for you, how he could help out in life," his longtime friend Ann Heavey said.
A middle-class family in St. Louis adopted Lambert when he was a child. After moving to Los Angeles he made a name for himself in the art world. Some estimate he sold his art printing business for $100 million. After that, he started traveling, living a lavish lifestyle, buying the finest things and treating his friends to high-priced gifts. "He gave lots of parties, loved to entertain. Ask anyone in the desert, he threw some of the best parties," said Heavey.
The Riverside County District Attorney's office says on December 5th 2008, five men stabbed and killed Lambert, ransacked his house, then tried to sell it. They also emptied out his bank accounts. Investigators continue to search for Lambert's body. One man confessed to his role in the murder. Two men are currently on trial. Two more are scheduled to go on trial next year. Investigators believe money was their motive.
Heavey warned Lambert about his lifestyle. He frequently met gay men online and quickly befriended them. "I don't know what it was, he simply couldn't be alone," said Heavey.
In 2008, Lambert met Daniel Garcia. Investigators say it quickly went downhill. "You don't look for relationships in the wrong places and unfortunately he did that", said Heavey. "I warned him and said you have to be careful who you let into your house."