LAFAYETTE — The day after Pamela Vitale was found slain Oct. 15, Scott Dyleski had red “abrasion-like” marks on his face and a light scratch on his cheek ending at his nose, a family friend who requested anonymity told ANG Newspapers on Thursday.
By Oct. 18, a day before authorities arrested Dyleski in connection with Vitale’s death, most of the abrasions on his face had faded.
“It certainly was not anything that looked like he was in a serious fight,” the friend said, fighting back tears.
Yet after Vitale’s body was discovered by her husband, defense attorney Daniel Horowitz, he said it appeared she had been in a serious struggle for her life.
The family friend trembled and struggled to get words out to describe the boy who will be tried as an adult for Vitale’s murder.
The brooding, long-haired boy seen in an old yearbook photograph is not the Scott Dyleski the friend knew and loved. The boy’s penchantfor dark dress and his Goth hairstyle had been cast off months earlier.
Dyleski “outgrew the Goth phase,” the friend said. He had cut his hair, and was not wearing makeup or painting his nails dark colors anymore.
Instead he was focused on classes at Diablo Valley College, played Ultimate Frisbee with friends, and listened to Nine Inch Nails and other bands played on mainstream rock radio stations, the friend said. He enjoyed playing his electronic keyboard, which was destroyed in the police raid of Dyleski’s house.
Could Dyleski be capable of killing Vitale?
The friend shuddered and couldn’t speak before finally saying: “Lots of things are possible … but there was nothing that would have led you to believe this was possible.”
Vitale was bludgeoned to death, and had been stabbed in the abdomen. Blood was splattered around her home, and some kind of marking had been carved into her back, a law enforcement source has said.
Dyleski was arrested Oct. 19 at a friend’s home in Walnut Creek and is being held in Contra Costa County Juvenile Hall. In another twist Thursday, Dyleski’s mother, Esther Fielding, was arrested on charges of being an accessory to murder and booked into Contra Costa County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Reports of an alleged credit card scheme led police to Dyleski in the first place. The friend and Dyleski’s mother knew about the alleged credit fraud days before the boy’s arrest, the friend said.
According to interviews and court documents, the boy is alleged to have purchased marijuana-growing equipment using stolen credit card information.
A few days before Vitale’s slaying, the friend said it became apparent Dyleski was involved in the credit scheme. The friend said he was able to trace Dyleski’s orders of pot-growing equipment to a computer in Dyleski’s home using credit reports furnished by neighbors.
In addition, the friend found large white plastic buckets in Dyleski’s room, the kind sometimes used to hold large plants.
According to court documents, one of Vitale’s neighbors called police two days after her death and reported unauthorized use of his credit cards. The charges were traced to a hydroponic supply store, and were apparently made in Fielding’s name, sources have said.
On the Sunday after Vitale’s slaying, the friend and Fielding confronted Dyleski about the credit card purchases, and while it is unclear whether Dyleski admitted it, an attorney was called in by Fielding to help, the friend said.
The day Dyleski was arrested, gun-wielding sheriff’s personnel dressed in black broke down the doors of the house where Dyleski and Fielding lived with two other families. Dyleski was not there, but the law enforcement officers stormed in and pushed occupants to the ground, holding them there while they searched the boy’s room, the friend said.
Now both Fielding and her son, the lead suspects in Vitale’s slaying, are behind bars.
“They spent 13 hours disassembling things and threw everything from Scott’s room onto the porch,” the friend said. “They don’t clean up when they leave.”
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