Ken Leighton 9:30 a.m., Aug. 24
County Medical Examiner releases report on murder victim
The San Diego County Medical Examiner has released their report on Kathleen Cary Scharbarth, a woman found murdered around Thanksgiving time last year.
The 34-year-old Carlsbad woman had become fearful of her ex-boyfriend, Michael David Robles, 43, and asked for court protection just one week before her death. Scharbarth’s father reported his daughter missing on Thanksgiving day, November 24, 2011, which also happened to be her birthday.
Ex-boyfriend Michael Robles was arrested the next day and he reportedly confessed to strangling Kathleen Scharbarth. Robles led authorities to a hillside in Fallbrook, the night of November 25, where investigators reportedly saw one foot with red-painted toenails protruding from the dirt. The shallow grave was no more than six inches deep, according to County Medical Examiner’s investigator Dana Gary.
Michael Robles confessed that he was watching when Kathleen Scharbarth came out of her Carlsbad apartment to walk her new boyfriend to his car, the evening of November 23. Robles said he slipped inside the apartment and “was waiting for her when she came back inside,” according to the report. “He began telling her that he wanted to get back together and he missed her.” When Kathleen Scharbarth said she no longer wanted a relationship with him “this upset him very much” and “he began choking her.” His victim lost the contents of her bladder as a result of her strangulation death, so Robles “changed her clothes” and then “he placed her in her vehicle.”
Kathleen Scharbarth’s thirteen-year-old daughter was reportedly asleep upstairs in the apartment, at the time of the incident.
“He drove her to his vehicle which was a few blocks away and then drove to a remote location in Rice Canyon where he dug a shallow grave and buried her,” according to the report.
She was found with her “long blonde hair fashioned in a ponytail” and dressed in turquoise velour sweatpants and a black velour sweatshirt. “There were amputations of both hands at the wrists,” according to the report. If the hands were recovered it was not noted in the report. No drugs nor alcohol were detected in the deceased. There was no sign of rape.
On November 30, 2011, Michael David Robles was brought into court and charged with murder while lying-in-wait, a special circumstance which made him eligible for the death penalty or life in prison without possibility of parole.
Prosecutor Kelly Mok told the judge that Robles was seen by a neighbor lurking around his ex-girlfriend’s apartment the evening she was killed, and he was confronted and ran away once.
Michael David Robles reportedly went to Thanksgiving dinner at a friend’s home, later the same day that he buried the victim’s body. And he had already purchased tickets to fly into Mexico the next day, when he was arrested on November 25, the prosecutor said.
Three months after his arrest, on March 3 2012, the accused man “was found hanged by the neck from a sheet tied to a shelf” in his jail cell, according to authorities. His death was declared a suicide.
The County Medical Examiner reported Kathleen Cary Scharbarth to be 5 foot 5 inches tall and 131 pounds, and Michael David Robles was 5 feet 10 inches tall and 250 pounds.
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