SAN JOSE DEL CABO, Mexico (KGET) — Prosecutors in Mexico say Bakersfield car dealer Jose Arredondo was apparently beaten to death, according to the Associated Press.

Prosecutors called to a condominium said Arredondo’s body “showed signs of blunt force trauma,” the AP reported.

Arredondo, 58, was found dead Tuesday morning, and reports of the popular businessman’s death spread rapidly through social media as people recalled their encounters with him.

“Sad news,” Francisco Duran wrote on Facebook. “I was thinking about quitting Bakersfield College back in 1995 when I saw him on TV. He was encouraging kids to stay in school. He changed my mind about quitting.”

Corina Topete wrote, “Jose Arredondo was an incredible man that provided many jobs and opportunities for our Kern County community. He was a friend, mentor and great human being who did so much for our community and his family. He treated everyone with respect and deserves dignity and respect in his passing.”

Arredondo was one of 11 children who grew up picking crops in Mexico before crossing the desert at night to avoid border controls and enter the United States.

In 1977 he got a job washing cars at a Mission Hills dealership to help the family. He made $325 every two weeks.

Given an opportunity to sell cars, Arredondo sold 12 in his first month.

He came to own several Kern County dealerships – Family Motors lots in Bakersfield, Delano and Taft. He also owns a real estate agency.