San Diego

Officials Make Arrest in Rancho Santa Fe Killing

The adult son of a Rancho Santa Fe man was captured in Riverside County in connection with his father's killing, San Diego County Sheriff's deputies announced Wednesday.

Leighton Dorey III, 71, was found dead Tuesday inside the family's home.

The victim's wife called 911 after returning to the couple's home on La Brisa. She told investigators she found her husband dead.

San Diego County Sheriff's deputies and officials with the Rancho Santa Fe Fire Protection District arrived just before 12 p.m.

Investigators said the elder Dorey suffered from serious trauma to his upper body. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"The wounds were extensive," said SDSO Lt. Kenn Nelson, adding that the cause of death was strangulation and blunt force trauma.

News helicopter footage showed crime scene tape in several areas of the property including a long driveway leading to the home and an outdoor balcony next to a small, detached structure.

Officials said there was no apparent break-in at the property.

Overnight, deputies say the victim's son, Leighton Dorey IV, was taken into custody in Riverside County.

Physical evidence and witness statements led investigators to the victim's son, Nelson said.

He was taken into custody at approximately 5 a.m. Wednesday just outside of town without incident, Nelson said.

“We believe the family has some type of connection to the Idyllwild area,” Nelson said. "He was up there with his vehicle and he was outside the vehicle in a wooded area."

He will be booked into the county jail on one count of murder, deputies said.

Nelson said the suspect may have been living outside of the U.S. until a few months ago.

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