Affidavit: Blood and DNA on knife link ex-Navy man to wife's mur - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Affidavit: Blood and DNA on knife link ex-Navy man to wife's murder

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8 / CNS) - A 32-year-old ex-Navy man whose wife went missing in 2014 and was found dead two years later in a boat channel near their Point Loma home was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of murdering her.

Matthew Sullivan of Wyoming, Delaware, was taken into custody at his residence this morning in connection with the death of the mother of their two daughters, according to San Diego police.

Elizabeth Sullivan, 31, disappeared on the night of Oct. 13, 2014, and her phone was later shut off, investigators said.

As police searched in vain for the missing woman, her family hired a private detective, distributed missing-person flyers and set up social media sites dedicated to their attempts to find her, including a account to raise reward money for information on her whereabouts. All the efforts proved futile.

A family statement posted online in October 2015 reported that the investigation had "gone completely cold."

On Oct. 6, 2016, a passer-by found Elizabeth Sullivan's body in a harbor inlet off the 2600 block of Farragut Road, not far from the Liberty Station neighborhood where the couple had lived, SDPD Lt. Mike Holden said. An autopsy determined that her death was a homicide.

Later in 2016, police found the victim's blood on the floor of her bedroom, according to court records obtained by News 8.

Investigators also found a knife -- believed to be the murder weapon -- hidden in the attic of the couple's home during a November 2017 search.  The knife had the victim's blood on it, as well as DNA on the handle from both Matthew and Elizabeth Sullivan.

The discovery of the knife led to the husband's arrest, according to the records.  Investigators "believe an attempt was made to clean the knife" but the victim's blood was found on the "inner workings" of the weapon, the records revealed.

"I believe this is the knife Matthew Sullivan used to kill his wife, Elizabeth Sullivan" an investigator wrote in the affidavit supporting the arrest warrant.

The suspect -- who left the Navy and moved to the East Coast shortly after his wife's remains were discovered -- was booked into a local jail in Delaware pending extradition back to San Diego for prosecution, Holden said.


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