OC cold-case murder suspect arrested in Kansas

SANTA ANA, Calif. He's a city official in the small town of Salina, Kansas, where people can't believe what he's now accused of.

Linda Curry has been dead for 16 years. When she died of nicotine poisoning in 1994, Ebrahim Baytieh was just a law school student. Today Baytieh is an Orange County prosecutor looking to put Curry's husband away for murder.

"He killed her by giving her poison, by poisoning her," said Baytieh.

Even though it's been 16 years, the district attorney's office says it never forgot about Curry and now they get to move forward, thanks to advances in technology.

"Science's ability to determine the amount of nicotine in somebody's system and how lethal it is, and the timing of it, was able to help us," said Baytieh.

Baytieh says 54-year-old Paul Curry poisoned his wife of two years when the couple lived in a San Clemente house. Curry has been living in Salina, Kansas, working as a city building inspector. Curry was arrested Tuesday and is being held without bail.

Curry's co-workers in Kansas say murder accusations are completely out of character for Curry.

If convicted, Curry faces life in prison without the possibility of parole.

The Orange County District Attorney's office says Curry is a cold-blooded murderer who killed his wife for a $400,000 insurance payout.

"At the end of the day, this is pure greed and unfortunately it's the kind of greed that allowed somebody to kill the person he was supposed to protect. He killed his wife, who laid in bed next time trusting him, and he killed her for money," said Baytieh.

Copyright © 2024 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved.