San Diego

Autopsy Reveals New Details in Brutal Killing of Rancho Santa Fe Man

Wife found her husband lifeless at the bottom of a stairwell with "abundant" blood surrounding his body, according to the autopsy report.

San Diego County Sheriff’s detectives said the brutal killing of a 71-year-old father in a quiet Rancho Santa Fe neighborhood was the worst homicide case they had encountered in years.

Now, the newly released autopsy for Leighton Dory III laid out just how gruesome the suspected killing was.

The San Diego County Medical Examiner’s office report alleges that Leighton Dory’s 39-year-old son strangled and beat his father to death on May 30. Leighton’s wife, Kimberly, discovered his body at the bottom of their stairwell, surrounded by an “abundant” amount of blood, and tooth fragments scattered around him.

Detectives were able to connect Dorey’s son, Leighton Dorey IV, to his father's vicious killing. They arrested him the next day in Idyllwild.

Kimberly said there had been incidents between the two in the past, and that she and her husband feared Dorey IV.

“’The relationship between the father and son was ‘fractious,’” Prosecutor Paul Greenwood said. “Even the most seasoned homicide detectives called the homicide ‘one of the most brutal crime scenes they’ve ever come across.”’

Dorey IV spent four years in France and other parts of Europe, before abruptly returning to San Diego. A social media post from April showed him enjoying a ski tour in the Chamonix Mountains of France.

According to the autopsy, Dorey IV emailed his father while in Europe, asking for $1,000 a month. He made harmful threats if his father did not comply, according to investigators.

The father’s neighbors, who were psychiatrists, worried about Dorey IV. They told the victim and his wife Dorey IV ‘might be bipolar.’

After flying back to San Diego, the son showed up at the mansion “out of the blue.” Kimberly was at a store in Encinitas when she called her husband and found out Dorey IV was back. Within 15 minutes, Kimberly arrived to their home, and discovered the lifeless body of her husband. Dorey IV was no longer at the home by the time she got there.

The mother of the defendant lives in Pennsylvania and is a “lady of means,” who was divorced from the victim, according to the prosecutor. She paid for an airline ticket to Dorey to fly to San Diego and also bought him a jeep.

Dorey IV was charged with one felony count of murder. The District Attorney is asking for a special allegation of torture in this case, due to the severe extent of the victim’s injuries. Court documents allege the killing was intentional and involved the use of torture.

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