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Laguna Beach murder solved after 33 years

Police in Laguna Beach say they have solved a murder case after 33 years, thanks to new crime scene technology.

February 24, 2011 12:40:00 AM PST
Police in Laguna Beach say they have solved a murder case after 33 years, thanks to new crime scene technology.

Brent Stapleton Tobey, a 55-year-old Laguna Beach resident, was found stabbed to death inside his home on Nov. 20, 1978. Police were not able to make an arrest in the case, and the investigation hit a dead end.

Detectives submitted several items from the crime to be re-examined for DNA analysis with newer technology in 2002, and one piece of evidence was found to have foreign DNA on it.

However, a match for that DNA wasn't found until August 2010, when Laguna Beach detectives were notified by Connecticut authorities that one of their prisoners, Walter Dalie, matched the DNA.

Dalie is currently serving a 50-year sentence for the murder of his girlfriend in Newington, Conn. Authorities say he used to live in Laguna Beach and Newport Beach in the 70s and early 80s, and they also believe he knew the victim.

The Orange County D.A.'s Office will now begin proceedings to bring Dalie back from Connecticut to stand trial for Tobey's murder.