“Many missing persons and homicide cases would simply remain unsolved if not for today’s technology and the scientists who work with the evidence. The criminalists at the California Department of Justice are a vital part of our law enforcement and criminal justice system.” – CSLEA President Alan Barcelona
RIVERSIDE COUNTY –California Department of Justice criminalists have been successful in their assistance to identify the remains of a woman reported missing from Tustin in 1977. The Riverside County Regional Cold Case Homicide Team revisited this particular case after several bodies or skeletal remains in cold cases were exhumed in August 2021. The remains in this case were identified as those of Linda LeBeau whose maiden name was Durnall.
In 1986, a CalTrans crew doing survey work discovered LeBeau’s partial skeletal remains, including a skull, down an embankment along the Ortega Highway in Lake Elsinore. No identification was made.
During the week of January 17, 2022, the remains discovered some 35 years ago were finally identified as those of LeBeau, who was born in 1950. The identification was done through a familial DNA match at the California Department of Justice.
Investigators know now that LeBeau, who was divorced, was reported missing by her boyfriend to the Tustin Police Department in 1977. Tustin police investigators had maintained a missing persons investigation and now have additional leads to investigate.