Crime

Son stabbed his mother to death and then fled to Indiana, Grover Beach police say

Levente Laszlo Lazar, 26, of Bloomington, Indiana, has been accused of murdering his mother, Athena Valentiny, according to a criminal complaint filed by the SLO County District Attorney.
Levente Laszlo Lazar, 26, of Bloomington, Indiana, has been accused of murdering his mother, Athena Valentiny, according to a criminal complaint filed by the SLO County District Attorney. San Luis Obispo County District Attorney's Office

The Grover Beach woman found stabbed to death in her home was killed by her son, according to a criminal complaint from the District Attorney’s Office and a news release from the Police Department.

District Attorney Dan Dow has filed charges against Levente Laszlo Lazar, 26, alleging that he murdered his mother, Athena Valentiny, with a knife last month and that the “murder was committed willfully, deliberately and with premeditation,” according to the complaint.

Court records do not yet show an attorney for Lazar.

A combination of Grover Beach police officers and investigators from the District Attorney’s Office traveled to Bloomington, Indiana, where Lazar lives, to interview him and execute search warrants at his home, according to police Cmdr. Simm Miller.

grover woman.jpg
Athena Ilona Valentiny, 64, of Grover Beach, was found stabbed to death on Oct. 25, 2018, in the 200 block of South 9th Street, police said. Grover Beach Police Department

On Nov. 6, investigators arrested Lazar on suspicion of murder and he is being held at the Monroe County Correctional Center in Bloomington, awaiting extradition to SLO County, Miller said.

Miller declined to comment on how the investigation led authorities to Lazar.

Valentiny was found Oct. 25 when police arrived at her home in the 200 block of South 9th Street to conduct a welfare check.

She was a licensed vocational nurse at the California Men’s Colony, spokeswoman Lt. Monica Ayon told The Tribune in a phone interview last week. Valentiny had been employed at CMC since 2013, but had been with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation since 2011, Ayon said. She previously worked at California State Prison, Corcoran.

Last week, Miller told The Tribune that Valentiny’s killing was not random.

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“As far as we know now, this had something to do with her and this is related to her,” he said at the time.

Valentiny’s dog, also named Athena, has not yet been found, Miller said.

The investigation is ongoing, and additional information was not immediately available.

Police ask anyone with information pertaining to the investigation, or the whereabouts of Valentiny’s dog, to call Sgt. Juan Leon at 805-473-4511 or email him at jleon@gbpd.org. Anonymous tips can be submitted by calling CrimeStoppers at 805-549-7867 or by going to the CrimeStoppers website.

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