Simi Valley police said Friday that the FBI has helped them establish new leads in one of the county's most mysterious murder cases.
Police said FBI investigators have helped them reach a conclusion that Dorothy Mae Brinkley, who was bludgeoned to death in January, was killed by someone who knew her and still lives in the city.
They said they also believe she was killed at one of three sites and her body was moved to the location where it was found.
In an unusual press release declaring that the department is "encouraged with the direction" of the investigation, Simi Valley Police Chief Lindsey P. Miller said:
"The nature of the injuries sustained by Dorothy Mae Brinkley suggest a great amount of personalized anger on the part of the killer and indicates the killer is someone known to the victim."
Lt. Robert Klamser, department spokesman, said the new leads help narrow the focus of the investigation that began more than eight months ago.
Klamser said that although the Police Department has worked with the FBI on other cases in the past, "we have never used them to this extent on a homicide case before."
Detectives have been working on the case with FBI forensics experts out of Washington, D.C., since April, Klamser said. He added that the Police Department has also enlisted the help of the bureau's National Center for the Analysis of Violent Crime in Quantico, Va., to formulate a psychological profile of Brinkley's killer.
"What they have done has been very helpful," Klamser said. "From the nature of the injuries, there are indications that the suspect was known to her. From the forensics work, we have been able to focus on where the crime scene is."
But Klamser declined to elaborate on the investigation, saying little about the areas where police believe Brinkley may have been killed or why they believe the killer knew her.
Kelley Cibulas, an FBI spokeswoman in Virginia, said the bureau is confident about its conclusions regarding the case, but she would not reveal how they were reached.
"All I can say is that in most instances, where cases have gone to court and people have been convicted of a crime, our information has been right on target," she said.
Despite the new leads, Klamser would not say whether the information means that police are any closer to making an arrest in the Jan. 15 slaying.
Brinkley was found dead in the front seat of her silver 1988 Mercury Cougar in the parking lot of Valley Federal Savings and Loan, 2358 Tapo St. Police believe she was killed between midnight and the early morning hours of Jan. 15.
The victim's face was bludgeoned and her jugular veins slashed, according to Ventura County coroner's officials. Although almost all of Brinkley's blood was drained from her body, little of it was found in the car or the surrounding area. Police have not disclosed the type of weapon used in the killing.
Detectives said Brinkley, who worked at a local law firm, was having marital difficulties and had been looking for an apartment. She was living in a mobile home parked outside her house that she once shared with her second husband, Herbert, and her 23-year-old son, Chris Ladriene.
Since February, Herbert Brinkley, 54, has been offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of his wife's killer. He could not be reached for comment Friday.
Detective Bob Hopkins, one of the investigators in the case, said Herbert Brinkley has not been ruled out as a suspect in the case. Hopkins said Brinkley has cooperated with investigators.