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Juan Ignacio Blanco

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Shari Lee TOBYNE

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 
 
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Dismembered the body and dropped pieces of it in three counties
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: November 24, 2009
Date of arrest: August 14, 2010
Date of birth: July 24, 1956
Victim profile: Dwight Tobyne, 57 (her husband)
Method of murder: Shooting
Location: Scottsdale, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to life in prison, plus 31 extra years for related charges, on May 19, 2013
 
 

 
 

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Scottsdale Woman Makes Jodi Arias Look Like an Amateur

Shari Tobyne Chopped Up Her Husband, Scattered Him Over Three Counties

By Matthew Hendley - PhoenixNewTimes.com

May 20, 2013

While everyone's caught up in the hype of the Jodi Arias trial, we'll point out a quieter case that ended on Friday with a Scottsdale woman being sentenced to life in prison.

Shari Tobyne shot her husband of 35 years, Dwight, then chopped up his body, and left most of his remains scattered over three counties in the state.

Police never got into the specifics of what was found where, but they didn't completely add up, according to media accounts at the time.

Scottsdale police say Dwight was in the process of divorcing Shari in November 2009, and the day before Dwight was scheduled to move out of their home on Mountain View Road, Shari shot and killed him.

After she stored his body at home for a while, Shari dismembered Dwight and dropped off his remains in three counties -- Maricopa, Pinal, and La Paz.

Meanwhile, no one else knew that Dwight was dead. Shari used his phone and e-mail account to send messages to family and friends, and Dwight's daughter finally reported him missing in July 2010 -- months after all three sets of remains had been discovered by members of the public, and authorities were trying to identify who it was.

Once Dwight was reported missing, police started investigating Shari, who eventually admitted to killing Dwight.

Prosecutors initially sought the death penalty for Shari, but after pleading guilty last week, she was sentenced to life in prison, plus 31 extra years for related charges.


Mental exam for Ariz. woman in husband's slaying

By Bob Christie - Associated Press

October 9, 2010

PHOENIX A mental competency examination has been ordered for a Scottsdale, Ariz., woman who police say killed her husband of 35 years, dismembered his body and dropped pieces of it in at least three counties.

Shari Tobyne was arrested on a first-degree murder charge in August after she reportedly admitted accidentally shooting 57-year-old Dwight Tobyne in late November. This week, Scottsdale police announced that remains found in December in three locations had been identified using DNA tests as belonging to Dwight Tobyne.

Shari Tobyne's lawyer, Anne Phillips, filed a motion on Sept. 27 asking a judge to order her client to undergo the mental evaluation. Phillips wrote that she had difficulty communicating with her client during three visits and later learned she had a documented mental health history. Phillips declined to comment.

A judge granted the request this week. If she is found incompetent, Tobyne may be sent to a mental facility until she can understand the charges and assist in her defense.

Shari Tobyne has pleaded not guilty, and is being held in the Maricopa County jail.

The Tobynes grew up on adjacent farms outside Clifton, Kan. They moved to the Phoenix area in 2004.

Police were called in July by one of the couple's three adult children, who told them Dwight Tobyne had not been seen since before Christmas and had missed the holiday and the birth of a grandchild.

Scottsdale police spokesman David Pubins said detectives learned that Dwight Tobyne planned to separate from his wife and move back to the Midwest in late November. In early November, Shari Tobyne bought a handgun and went to a gun club to learn how to shoot.

Shari Tobyne had told her children that her husband had gone to Mexico in late November, but police tracked his cell phone in the Phoenix area in December. They also found his truck abandoned in an apartment parking lot after opening the investigation in July.

The first-degree murder charge alleged premeditation. She also is charged with abandoning a human body.

"The information that we have leads our investigators to believe that there was some planning that took place," Pubins said on Friday. "They do have quite a bit of evidence that helps them come to that conclusion."

Police said Shari Tobyne told detectives she planned to commit suicide, Dwight tried to stop her and the gun fired accidentally. She told them she disposed of the body because she thought no one would believe her.

After police opened their investigation, they followed Shari Tobyne and spotted her putting a garbage bag in a trash bin behind a store. The bag contained the gun she bought in November and clothing.

The remains were found in December by three different people during outdoor activities in three Arizona counties. Medical examiners and the state police crime lab eventually connected them, and when Scottsdale police developed a DNA profile of Dwight Tobyne, they made the match. Some remains are still missing.

Court hearings are suspended until the mental evaluation is complete.


Scottsdale man's remains found in three Arizona counties

By Jose Zabala and Diana Balazs - The Arizona Republic

October 7, 2010

DNA samples from the parents of a Scottsdale man whose wife claimed she accidentally killed him helped police identify human remains found in three Arizona counties as that of the victim.

Police believe Dwight Tobyne, 57, was killed sometime between Nov. 24 and 28.

His wife, Shari Lee Tobyne, 54, was arrested Aug. 14, and has been charged with first-degree murder and abandoning a human body. She remains in custody in the Maricopa County Jail.

Police believe Shari Tobyne shot and killed her husband of 35 years and then dismembered him with a saw-type tool before dumping his body parts in desert areas in Maricopa, La Paz and Pinal counties.

The remains were found during the same week in late December by outdoor enthusiasts. On Dec. 20, someone found human remains off of U.S. 60 south of Florence Junction in Pinal County and notified the local sheriff's office. The remains were sent to the Pinal County Medical Examiner's Office, said Officer David Pubins, a Scottsdale police spokesman.

On Dec. 23, someone else found remains off of Interstate 10 near mile marker 53 in La Paz County, about 50 miles from the California border, police said. The remains were taken to the Pima County Medical Examiner's Office in Tucson, where through networking, that office learned of the remains found in Pinal County.

On Dec. 26, a motorist on the Beeline Highway near the Sugarloaf exit saw what appeared to be partial human remains. They were turned over to the Maricopa County Medical Examiner's Office, which was aware of the remains in Tucson.

Scottsdale police were not notified of Dwight Tobyne's disappearance until the following summer.

On July 21, one of Tobyne's three adult children contacted the department to report him missing. Tobyne reportedly had been with his wife for Thanksgiving, but had missed Christmas with his family and the birth of a grandchild, police said.

Before Scottsdale police became involved, the Arizona Department of Public Safety crime lab developed a DNA profile from the La Paz County remains. After this, the Pima County medical examiner determined that all of the found remains were from the same person, Pubins said.

As part of its investigation, Scottsdale investigators took mouth swab samples from his parents who live in Kansas for DNA analysis.

They then retrieved a sample of the remains from Tucson and were able to positively identify them as Tobyne's on Sept. 30.

Out of respect for the Tobyne family, police declined to identify what parts of Tobyne's body were recovered. Lt. Bruce Ciolli, who supervises Scottsdale police's Crimes Against Persons Section, said not all of Tobyne's body has been found.

After Dwight Tobyne was reported missing to police, his wife was placed under surveillance.

Ciolli said police uncovered physical evidence pointing to Shari Tobyne as the one who shot her husband.

She told investigators she accidentally shot him while inside their Scottsdale home in late November with a 9 mm pistol, which she had purchased on Nov. 8.

She told police she had plans to take her own life because her husband had recently told her he wanted to separate. He had not filed for divorce, Ciolli said.

Shari Tobyne told police she disposed of his body in the Bush Highway area because she did not think anyone would believe her story. Police searched the area but did not find the man's remains.

Detectives found Dwight Tobyne's Ford pickup parked at an apartment complex in Phoenix. The keys were locked inside and the truck battery was dead.

Shari Tobyne told her children that their father had left her and was possibly living in Mexico.


Scottsdale woman confesses to killing husband, dumping body

By Beth Duckett - The Arizona Republic

August 16, 2010

The wife of a Scottsdale man missing since late November has confessed to killing her husband and dumping his body in the desert east of Phoenix, where it has yet to be found, officials said Monday.

Scottsdale police arrested Shari Tobyne, 53, on Saturday after police said she admitted to accidentally shooting her husband, 57-year-old Dwight Tobyne, last year.

She was booked on single counts of first-degree murder and abandoning a human body, said Scottsdale police spokesman Officer David Pubins at a news conference Monday.

The Tobynes have three adult children who reported their father missing on July 21, Pubins said. Shari Tobyne told them their father went to Mexico last November as the couple was about to go through a separation after 35 years of marriage.

"During that time, he missed Christmas with the family and the birth of a grandchild, so this began our investigation," Pubins said.

According to police, Shari Tobyne bought a handgun last fall and practiced her shooting at a local gun club on Nov. 22.

Tobyne told investigators she bought a gun with the intention of killing herself. After offering multiple versions of how the shooting took place, Tobyne ultimately told police during an Aug. 14 interview that she accidentally shot her husband during an attempted suicide.

On the night of the alleged shooting, which police said occurred between Nov. 24 and 28, Tobyne said she walked into the master bedroom of the condominium the couple shared in the 8000 block of East Mountain View Road. She had a gun in her hand and was going to shoot herself when Dwight Tobyne, who was lying on the bed, attempted to grab the gun and accidentally triggered it, she told police.

The bullet hit Dwight Tobyne in the head, killing him instantly, Tobyne said. She told police she did not report the incident out of fear that nobody would believe her.

Instead, Tobyne said, she wrapped her husband's body in bedding and dragged him to the garage, where she again wrapped him in tarp. Later, Tobyne said she placed her husband's body in the backseat of her car and drove to an unknown location east of Phoenix, where she dumped the body.

She also admitted replacing the carpet in the master bedroom afterward, police said.

During the recent investigation, Tobyne confessed to killing her husband but maintained it was an accident. She agreed to help find the body, police said, and after the interview, she directed officials to an area off the Bush Highway in the Tonto National Forest. Investigators could not find the exact location.

Dwight Tobyne's remains were still missing as of Monday afternoon.

"However, detectives are attempting to gather information to help narrow down the search location," Pubins said.

Police made the arrest after conducting surveillance on Tobyne, during which they observed her disposing of materials at a dumpster in Chandler that included a dismantled handgun and items of clothing, and spray cleaning the trunk of her vehicle at another location in Mesa.

Detectives also found Dwight Tobyne's Ford pickup abandoned in an apartment complex parking lot near 30th Street and Shea Boulevard. Shari Tobyne later admitted to driving it there, according to police.

Cell phone records showed that the same cell-tower areas were used by phones belonging to Shari and Dwight between Nov. 24 and Dec. 25, indicating that the phones were together, police said.


Wife says husband's killing was accidental

By By Beth Duckett The Arizona Republic

August 16, 2010

Police are searching for the remains of a 57-year-old Scottsdale, Ariz., man whose wife admitted killing him and then dumping his body in remote desert east of Phoenix late last year.

Shari Tobyne, 53, was arrested Saturday after telling police she accidentally killed her husband, Dwight Tobyne, a Clyde native, inside their Scottsdale home last November.

Tobyne was booked on single counts of first-degree murder and abandoning a human body and is being held in lieu of $500,000 cash-only bond, said Officer David Pubins, a Scottsdale police spokesperson.

The Tobynes' three adult children reported their father missing after July 21. According to police, the couple had experienced marital problems, and in early December, Dwight Tobyne reportedly told his wife that he wanted to separate after 35 years of marriage.

He reserved a U-Haul trailer and planned to move to Oklahoma, police said. When he never showed, Shari Tobyne told their children that he had gone to stay with a friend in Mexico.

"During that time, he missed Christmas with the family and the birth of a grandchild, so this began our investigation," Pubins said, in reference to the children reporting their father missing.

Tobyne confessed Saturday, telling police that her husband was accidentally shot while she was trying to commit suicide.

On the night of the killing, which police said happened between Nov. 24 and 28, Tobyne said she walked into the master bedroom of the condominium that the couple shared in the 8000 block of East Mountain View Road in Scottsdale. She had a gun in her hand and was going to shoot herself when her husband, who was lying on the bed, attempted to grab the gun and accidentally fired it, she told police.

The bullet hit Dwight Tobyne in the head, killing him instantly, Shari Tobyne said. She told police that she did not report the incident out of fear that nobody would believe her.

Instead, Tobyne said, she dragged her husband's body to the garage, where she wrapped him in a tarp. Later, Tobyne said, she placed her husband's body in the back seat of her car and drove to the desert east of Phoenix, where she dumped the body. She also admitted replacing the carpet in the master bedroom afterward, police said.

"We contacted the owner of the condo on Mountain View, which was rented by the Tobynes. We were told that the carpet in the master bedroom had been replaced by the Tobynes and the garage smelled heavily of bleach when they moved out," Pubins said.

After initial questioning, Tobyne denied knowledge of her husband's whereabouts. Police conducted surveillance on Tobyne and observed her disposing of materials at a dumpster in Chandler that included a dismantled handgun and items of clothing.

They also observed her spray-cleaning the trunk of her vehicle at a location in Mesa, Ariz., police said.

"At this time, detectives served a physical-evidence order to help build their case," Pubins said.

Tobyne told detectives several versions of how the shooting took place before she confessed. She agreed to help find the body, police said, and she directed officials to an area of Bush Highway in the Tonto National Forest. Investigators could not find the location of the remains.

Dwight Tobyne's body was still missing as of Monday, Pubins said. Detectives found his Ford pickup abandoned in an apartment complex parking lot in Phoenix. Shari Tobyne admitted driving it there, police said.

 

 

 
 
 
 
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