Updated Aug. 19 at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
By Allison Jarrell | LB Indy
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.
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.