Son accused of strangling Rancho Santa Fe father caught in Idyllwild

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SAN DIEGO – The son of the man found dead in a Rancho Santa Fe mansion was arrested in Idyllwild, Riverside, authorities announced Wednesday.

With the assistance of San Diego Regional Fugitive Task Force, authorities found the vehicle of the son, Leighton Dorey IV, in Idyllwild. Early Wednesday, they tracked him down in a heavily forested area near the mountain town and arrested him.

Dorey IV was taken back to San Diego County and booked into the Vista Detention Facility on a single count of murder.

According to court records, Dorey IV has had run-ins with the law before. He pled guilty to drug charges in Yuma, Arizona. Those same records show he has spent most of his time in San Diego but also listed addresses in Idyllwild.

Seventy-one-year-old Leighton Dorey III's wife found her husband's body Tuesday, authorities reported.

She made an emergency call about 11:30 a.m. Tuesday to report discovering his body at their residence in the 17200 block of La Brisa upon returning home from running errands, according to sheriff's officials.

Tuesday evening, homicide detectives named Dorey's son 39-year-old Leighton Dorey IV as the suspect in his death.

"The cause of death was blunt force trauma to the head, neck and torso as well as strangulation," according to San Diego County Sheriff's Department Lt. Kenn Nelson. “This was a very violent attack."

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Homicide Detail at 858-974-2321/after hours at 858-565-5200. Tipsters can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477.

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