UPDATE: Laguna Beach Woman Found Dead in Home, Son Charged with Murder


Updated Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.

By Allison Jarrell | LB Indy

Megan Hampton

A Laguna Beach woman who was found dead in her mobile home on Sunday morning by neighbors was identified on Monday by the Laguna Beach Police Department as 61-year-old Megan Estes Hampton.

Matthew McDonald

Hampton’s son, Matthew Bryson McDonald, 34, of Laguna Beach, was taken into custody on Sunday afternoon, and on Monday, LBPD officials confirmed he is the suspect in his mother’s death and is being charged with murder.

Police Chief Laura Farinella said Sunday evening that LBPD officers were dispatched around 10:45 a.m. that morning to a death investigation at the Laguna Terrace Park mobile home community, located at 30802 Coast Highway.

“Upon arrival, [officers] were met by neighbors who said that they had heard some argument and screaming coming from one of the residences,” Farinella said. “They went to check on this female resident, and when they got inside, they found her deceased.”

Farinella said neighbors gave police a description of McDonald, whom they thought was a possible suspect. LBPD broadcasted that description, as well as a description of Hampton’s car, which he was driving, to all Orange County law enforcement agencies. Around noon, Orange County Sheriff’s deputies stopped a vehicle in San Clemente that matched the description, and McDonald was taken into custody.

McDonald was booked and charged with murder, and his bail is set at $1 million.

Farinella confirmed on Sunday that Hampton was the only person in the house when her neighbors discovered her, and that McDonald lived with her in the mobile home.

LBPD Sgt. Jim Cota said Monday that there was a “history” between Hampton and her son that neighbors were aware of, adding that McDonald faces some “mental challenges.”

“As this investigation continues, more information related to this tragic incident will be released,” Farinella said in a statement on Monday.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Sgt. Jim Cota at 949-464-6671 or [email protected].

The last reported homicide in Laguna was in November 2012, when a couple in their 40s, as well as their Great Dane, were discovered shot in a murder-suicide in their home on Halloween night.

Danny Langhorne contributed to this report. This is a developing story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

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  1. Megan was the sweetest person Ive ever known.
    She tried every avenue to help her son.
    Such a horrible ending for her. So Sad.
    Rest in Peace, Dear Friend. You tried. ?????

  2. Her son needs to be brought to justice!

    And our governor protects these people by putting a moratorium on the death penalty??

    It’s a damn shame when liberals try to preach to us about morals!

    Decapitation your mother isn’t very moral in my book….

    This is an OUTRAGE!!!!

  3. Disturbing details, guy should be sentenced to death immediately. Instead he will be granted leniency by Gavin Newsom and just be pitched as a troubled young man who was kind. This should also teach the anti gun establishment that it’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that do the deed… knives or your kids TBall bat, or that SUV are just as deadly.

  4. Im coming down to Laguna to photgraph as much of my Laguna as I can so I can remember the beauty before the powers to be turn it into what every other city looks like’ ‘Laguna will become a big beach city and lose its beauty,, Just look at Vegas all corporate with no reguards for locals…..

  5. I’m sorry for the loss of Megan Estes Hampton. May she fly high with the angels surrounded by only peace and love! ❤️

    Please don’t make this political. If anything it should bring light to mental health issues.

  6. Her son was also a victum. He a very healthy wonderful young man volunteered to help clean up Katrina
    and was poisoned by chemicals in waters, etc and permeated his system and effected his brain. Please know all your facts before being so hostile. Megan did everything humanly possible to help him, and he was making some progress but would never be well. He was very mild mannered, there is a question if his medication was
    changed recently which effected his neurological reasoning and made him aggressive.
    Pray for both of them, victems at both ends of the knife. May the Great Love hold both of them in merciful care.

  7. Thank you so much Rev. Truman! ? People jumping to conclusions without knowing the facts is just adding insult to tragedy. I greatly appreciate your kind words.
    Megan was my cousin and a very sweet strong lady. My mom was her father’ little sister, so we were fairly close. I was only able to meet Matthew once. but he seemed like a nice young man. Such a loss for us all.
    If you don’t mind, I would like to have your permission to copy your very eloquent post to reply to comments on a couple other sites? My first reaction was anger at cruel comments some made, but as always, understanding is so much more effective than anger. God bless you, Rev Truman!?


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