78-year-old woman found dead in Tierrasanta home: Son ID'd as possible suspect

Body found in the 4800 block of Tinasa Way

SAN DIEGO - San Diego police homicide investigators believe a man may have played a role in the death his 78-year-old mother in her Tierrasanta home.

Family members called 911 around 10:30 p.m. Tuesday to report they had found the body of Joan Claire Robinson in her home in the 4800 block of Tinasa Way, according to SDPD officials.

Family members told officers they went to the home to check Robinson after they hadn't heard from her in awhile, police said.

Police said Robinson was found lying on her kitchen floor with what appeared to be trauma to her body. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

SDPD officials said Robinson's 55-year-old son, Dale Edward Robinson, has been identified as a potential suspect. He lived in the same home as his mother.

According to SDPD officials, Dale Robinson was involved in a vehicle crash on Interstate 15 on June 30, just after his mother was believed to have been killed.

Investigators said Dale Robinson was driving at speeds of up to 100 mph on I-15 in Escondido when he sideswiped a car while trying to pass and then rear-ended another vehicle. That impact sent Robinson's car flying off the freeway and flipping below the freeway on Centre City Parkway.

He was taken to Palomar Medical Center in Escondido with serious injuries. Police say they are waiting for him to recover before questioning him about his mother's death.

Neighbors told 10News that Joan Robinson was looking forward to joining in on the neighborhood Fourth of July festivities.

"I don't know anyone who's given as much of their life up for their family as Joan did," said Donna Warlick, Robinson's friend and neighbor. "She was just a wonderful woman, we were all worried about this."

Warlick described the victim as a dedicated grandmother who took her grandkids to school every day.

10News found that Dale Robinson has an extensive criminal history, including a 1988 conviction for burning down the home he shared with his mother in Clairemont.  

Documents show that Robinson was sentenced in 2011 to three years for a violent tirade in which he knocked out a man's teeth in an unprovoked attack. He then rammed several vehicles before he was arrested and later charged with battery and DUI.

Court documents also reveal he had a drug addiction and psychological problems.
 
Dale Robinson's brother, Dean, said, "I have a sister coming in from out of town. My mother was so kind, a saint."

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