Police arrest Grover Beach woman’s son for her murder

November 7, 2018

Levente Laszlo Lazar

Investigators arrested a 26-year-old man on Tuesday who allegedly murdered his mother in her Grover Beach home last month, police said. [Cal Coast Times]

On Oct. 25, police officers conducting a welfare check at a condominium in the 200 block of 9th Street found the body of Athena Valentiny, 64. Valentiny was stabbed to death the day before, police said.

An investigation into the killing led detectives to identify Valentiny’s son, 26-year-old Levente Laszlo Lazar, as the primary suspect. Lazar lives in Bloomington, Indiana.

Investigators traveled to Indiana to interview Lazar and search his home.  On Tuesday, after questioning Lazar, investigators arrested him on a single count of murder.

Athena Valentiny

The same day, the San Luis Obispo County District Attorney’s Office charged Lazar with the premeditated murder of his mother.

Authorities have yet to release additional details about the case. Prior to being stabbed to death, Valentiny expressed concern about being victimized, though her concerns related to her speaking out about alleged prostitution and public drunkenness in her area, as well as potential noise and building code violations at the church next to her home.

Lazar is currently being held in the Monroe County Correctional Center in Indiana pending extradition to San Luis Obispo County.

The investigation into the case is ongoing. Anyone with information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact the Grover Beach Police Department at (805) 473-4511 or anonymously contact Crime Stoppers at (805) 549-7867.

Around the time of Valentiny’s murder, the woman’s close companion, a light brown short-haired dog went missing. Officers have yet to locate the dog and are still searching for it.

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