Homicide investigators have arrested a woman in Mississippi on suspicion of murdering her husband five years ago at the home they shared near Whittier, officials announced Saturday.
Linda Gwozdz, 54, of Hattiesburg, Mississippi, told detectives she accidentally shot her then-husband, 50-year-old Patrick Duffey, as she was “examining” his .38-caliber revolver on April 26, 2007, at the couple’s home in the 15800 block of Sharon Hill Drive, in an unincorporated county area just south of Whittier, according to Capt. Mike Parker of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarter’s Bureau.
At the time of the killing, Gwozdz was known as Linda Doreen Duffey. She has since moved to Mississippi and re-married, however the investigation never ceased, Parker said.
“The investigation has been ongoing for five years,” Lt. Matt Burson of the Sheriff’s Homicide Bureau said. “Recently, new information was obtained.”
Investigators declined to comment on the specifics of the new break in the case, however Parker said detectives have been continuously looking over evidence in the case through the years, “including physical evidence.”
Detectives presented their case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, which filed a murder charge against Gwozdz, officials said.
Sheriff’s homicide detectives obtained an arrest warrant for Gwozdz and flew to Mississippi, where they were joined by a U.S. Marshals Task Force to arrest her at her home early Tuesday, Parker said.
She had working at the University of Southern Mississippi.
The Protective Life Insurance Co. filed a challenge in court in the years following Patrick Duffey’s death, questioning who the rightful beneficiaries were, according to the Jackson, Mississippi-based Clarion Ledger.
In response to a complaint filed by the insurance company, a judge reportedly ordered in March of 2009 that that Patrick Duffey’s $300,000 life insurance policy be split between the man’s two sons, even though his wife was listed as the primary beneficiary.
A death certificate provided by Gwozdz to the insurance company listed her husband’s cause of death as homicide due to multiple gunshot wounds to the head, the Clarion Ledger reported.
Lt. Larry Dietz of the Los Angeles County Department of Coroner said he was barred from discussing the case due to a security hold placed on the information by sheriff’s investigators.
Sheriff’s officials said Gwozdz was being held by the Forrest County Sheriff’s Office in Mississippi in lieu of $2 million bail as she awaited extradition proceedings.
Anyone with information on the case was asked to contact sheriff’s homicide detectives at 323-890-5500. Tips can also be submitted anonymously by calling L.A. Crime Stoppers at 800-222-8477.