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Woman held on murder charge

By ERIN MATHEWS/Salina Journal

A former rural Clifton woman was arrested in Scottsdale, Ariz., on Saturday after she admitted to accidentally shooting her husband and then discarding his body in the desert east of Phoenix.

The body of Dwight Tobyne, 57, also formerly of the Clifton area, had not yet been located Thursday, according to an e-mail to the Journal from Scottsdale police spokesman Officer David Pubins. He said detectives are attempting to gather more information to narrow down the search area.

Dwight Tobyne’s wife of 35 years, Shari Tobyne, 53, was booked into jail on one count of first-degree murder and one count of abandoning a human body. She is currently being held on a $500,000 cash-only bond. The couple also are former Salina residents.

On Saturday, after speaking to her family, Shari Tobyne — who had previously denied any knowledge of Dwight Tobyne’s whereabouts — came to talk to detectives again, according to a summary of the investigation released by the Scottsdale Police Department.

After telling multiple versions of how the shooting took place, Tobyne ultimately told detectives she had been attempting to kill herself sometime between Nov. 24 and 28, when Dwight tried to take the gun, according to the investigation summary. It went off, striking him in the head and killing him instantly, she told detectives.

Shari said she did not think her story would be believed, so she dragged his body from the bedroom to the garage, where she wrapped him in a tarp. She loaded the tarp in her trunk and drove to the desert to discard him.

Hopes the body is found

Lois Tobyne, of Clyde, Dwight’s mother, said she hopes her son’s body is found soon.

“At first, we thought he was missing by choice, but as time went on, we realized that couldn’t have been the case,” she said. Dwight, who was the second of four children born to Lois and Lowell Tobyne, owned his own financial leasing business, she said.

She said what happened to her son is beyond her comprehension.

“Nobody could even dream up a story like this,” she said.

Dwight grew up living right across the road from Shari and the rest of the Girton family, Lois Tobyne said. They started dating after they both attended Clifton High School. When they were first married, they lived in Salina for many years before moving to Denver, and then the Phoenix area in 2004, she said.

Lois Tobyne said she last saw her son when he and his youngest daughter came to Clyde for a visit over Labor Day weekend.

Kids report Dad missing

The Scottsdale Police Department summary said Tobyne was reported missing July 21 by his adult children. By then, Tobyne had had no contact with family members since November 2009, and he had missed celebrating Christmas with the family and the birth of a grandchild.

Detectives located Dwight’s Ford pickup truck in an apartment complex parking lot early in the investigation. The keys were locked inside, and the battery was dead. Lois Tobyne said after the truck was found, detectives really started working on the case because if he had gone somewhere by choice it likely would have been in his truck.

He’s going to leave me

According to the investigation summary, detectives were told that on Nov. 5, Shari Tobyne informed the family that Dwight was going to separate from her. On Nov. 8, Shari purchased a handgun and went to a local gun club to practice shooting on Nov. 22.

Dwight reserved a moving truck on Nov. 25, with plans to pack and leave for Oklahoma to stay with his brother. After he never showed up to get the truck and never arrived in Oklahoma, Shari told family members that he had gone to stay with a friend in Mexico.

However, investigators later discovered that local cell sites were still picking up Dwight’s cell phone signal through December.

Police interviewed the owner of the condo where the Tobynes had been living and 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.

Tossing her gun

After gathering this information, police interviewed Shari, who denied any knowledge of Dwight’s whereabouts.

Detectives began to follow Shari and observed her throwing away a black garbage bag in a store Dumpster. The bag, which was later retrieved, contained her gun and some items of clothing.

Two days later she was observed purchasing cleaning supplies, which she used to clean the inside of her trunk. At that time, detectives served a physical evidence order to help develop their case, according to the investigation summary.

n Reporter Erin Mathews can be reached at 822-1415 or by e-mail at [email protected].

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