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Police Arrest Wife of Slain Fish and Game Official : Crime: Ardith Cribbs, 38, is taken into custody at the hospital where she had been treated for drug overdose, and is being held on suspicion of murder.


HUNTINGTON BEACH — Police on Tuesday arrested the wife of a state Department of Fish and Game official found shot to death inside the couple's home here last week.

Ardith Cribbs, 38, was taken into custody on suspicion of murder at Pacifica Community Hospital, where she was being released following treatment for a drug overdose, Huntington Beach police Officer Mike Corcoran said.

Cribbs was found unconscious last Wednesday at the home she shared with her husband, Gordan L. Cribbs, 49, in the 8700 block of Elgin Circle. Gordan Cribbs was a patrol chief for the Fish and Game region, which has its headquarters in Long Beach.

Ardith Cribbs was taken to the Orange County Jail, where she was being held on $250,000 bail, Corcoran said.

Gordan Cribbs, a 26-year veteran with the Fish and Game Department, supervised about 100 wardens and other personnel and was responsible for marine and wildlife protection from Santa Barbara to the Mexico border and the Eastern Sierra.

Friends of the couple said that Ardith Cribbs' clerical job with the Fish and Game Department had recently been eliminated.

Police are still uncertain about a motive in the slaying.

"It's still kind of a mystery to us," Corcoran said. "We don't have a motive. Could it have been murder-suicide? We don't know yet."

Numerous prescription drug containers were found at the residence, Corcoran said. But it is not certain whose prescriptions they were or what the drugs were.

Corcoran said a .38-caliber revolver that police believe was used in the shooting was not the side arm Gordan Cribbs was authorized to carry. That weapon was also found in the house, however.

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