Slain Wife of Attorney Stabbed in Abdomen

The slain wife of prominent defense attorney Daniel Horowitz (search) had a four-inch stab wound in her abdomen and was found lying in a pool of blood, according to documents released Monday.

Pamela Vitale (search) also had a traumatic head injury and multiple wounds on her legs, and investigators found a bloody shoeprint on the lid of a storage container at the crime scene, according to an affidavit filed by a Contra Costa County (search) sheriff's deputy.

On Oct. 15, Horowitz called police at 5:53 p.m. and screamed, "Help me, she's dead," the affidavit said.

Deputies searched the home of Scott Dyleski, 16, on Oct. 19. He was charged as an adult with murder last week in connection with Vitale's death. Investigators seized two laptops, a computer central processing unit, bedding, knives and a duffel bag from Dyleski's house, just down the hill from Horowitz and Vitale's estate.

Also, a neighbor told Lafayette police that his credit card had been stolen and used to buy hydroponic growing equipment — often used to cultivate marijuana (search).

The equipment was scheduled for shipping to Horowitz and Vitale's address, according to the affidavit. The supplier withheld the shipment, believing the purchase was fraudulent.

The neighbor, Doug Schneider, contacted police because he believed the purchase may have been related to Vitale's murder, according to the affidavit, parts of which were sealed.

Authorities believe Dyleski went to the home looking for the equipment and got in a fight with Vitale, an investigative source speaking on condition of anonymity told the San Francisco Chronicle last week.