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A year later, no arrest in Castaic murder

Husband sole person of interest in Valencia High teacher's death.

Posted: April 12, 2008 10:03 p.m.
Updated: June 14, 2008 5:02 a.m.
 
One year later, no arrests have been made in the murder of a local school teacher, though investigators are hopeful.

LaWana Clary, 50, was found bludgeoned to death in her Castaic home on April 5, 2007.

"There's been no huge developments, (but) it's still a very fluid investigation," said Sgt. Robert Martindale of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department's Homicide Bureau.

A special education teacher at Valencia High School, Clary was reportedly found dead in the bedroom of her Shadow Place home by her husband David Clary, late in the afternoon of April 5, 2007. The Coroner's Office concluded she died of massive head injuries.

David Clary is the sole person of interest in the case at this point, Martindale said Tuesday, and added that the widower "has been anything but cooperative.

"It's hard to move forward when you can't clear the husband."

Martindale said David Clary has spoken only briefly with his partner, Detective Richard Lopez, and has "refused" to speak with Martindale.

Shortly after his wife's murder, David Clary launched www.rememberinglawana.com, regularly updating it with poems and remembrances.

In an entry dated Sept. 6, 2007, Clary wrote that he was "going to leave L.A. soon. Not sure where yet, although I think I'm heading back to Fresno."

Martindale said Tuesday he believes Clary has moved out of the Santa Clarita Valley.

The last Web site entry, dated Nov. 28, 2007, closes: "Pray the police find LaWana's killer. ... And don't ask what I want. Or how I'm doing.

I don't have good answers for either."

Martindale said LaWana Clary did have a life insurance policy, though he declined to disclose how much it was worth. He said David Clary is in the midst of suing Prudential for failing to pay out on the policy.

He said he does not expect any arrests in the immediate future, but added that "I'm hoping to have some resolution in the case.

"I'm hopeful every day."

Martindale declined to elaborate on any possible motives for the murder.

Both Martindale and Lopez attended Clary's funeral, and he said the memories shared by some of her former students are one thing that keeps the case vital.

"It was just heartbreaking," he said. "Her life was really cut short.

... God willing, we'll be able to solve (this case)."

If you have information ...

Anyone with information about LaWana Clary's murder can contact the Sheriff's Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500.

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