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Police Again Search Home of Sherri Dally’s Husband

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Stepping up a 6-week-old murder investigation, police searched the Ventura home of Michael Dally for the second time Wednesday, again seizing evidence in their probe into the kidnapping and homicide of Dally’s wife, Sherri.

The raid was the third in two days, following by just 24 hours the Ventura police searches of the houses of slaying suspect Diana Haun and her sister.

The pattern of searches is similar to that followed by investigators in May, when police searched both the Dally and Haun residences at the same time, 12 days after Sherri Dally was abducted from a Ventura department store parking lot.

Haun, 35, of Port Hueneme was arrested shortly after the search, but released for lack of evidence four days later.

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Police say she is still one of several suspects. Law enforcement sources also have identified Dally, who once worked nights with Haun at an Oxnard grocery store, as a suspect. Friends and co-workers have said that Dally and Haun had a romantic relationship.

Contacted at his home Wednesday afternoon, Dally, 35, flashed a peace sign, but refused comment on the search. Haun has consistently refused comment. In interviews, Dally has professed his innocence and said he thinks Haun is innocent as well.

Police would not say Wednesday what detectives were seeking or what was seized during the three-hour morning search of Dally’s modest single-family dwelling in mid town Ventura.

“There were no arrests, evidence was seized and the investigation is continuing,” police Lt. Carl Handy said.

But a source said after Tuesday’s raid of Haun’s house that investigators seized a typewriter to see if it was used to write a bizarre, anonymous letter circulated to the news media Monday. The letter said that Dally’s death was the work of British nationalists seeking to embarrass Ventura County law enforcement.

“Obviously, we had specific items we were looking for, because in a search warrant you have to clearly articulate what you are after,” Handy said. “But we’re not able to talk about any of the physical evidence that was seized.”

Handy said investigators remain confident that charges will be filed, but he would not say how soon.

“If it was up to me, the sooner the better,” Handy said. “We want to make sure the people who are responsible are held accountable.”

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Including Wednesday’s search, police have served warrants on about a dozen locations during the investigation.

On Tuesday, they searched Haun’s Port Hueneme house while simultaneously seeking evidence at the north Oxnard home of her sister, Mary Oliver.

Sherri Dally, a homemaker, mother of two and child-care center operator, was kidnapped May 6 from the parking lot of Target’s Main Street store. Her stabbed and beaten body was found June 1 in a ravine north of Ventura, the coroner said.

Witnesses say they saw her get into the back seat of a blue-green car driven by a woman described as short and blond. Days later, police seized a blood-stained blue-green Nissan Altima rented in Haun’s name between May 5 and 7.

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But Haun told authorities she had lost her credit cards before the car was rented. Investigators concede that the signature on the receipts seized from the Budget Car and Truck Rental agency at the Oxnard Airport does not match Haun’s handwriting.


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