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Man killed ex-wife, her father when they came for daughter at center of custody dispute, police say

May 5, 2011 |  7:36 am


Police believe a double slaying this week in Costa Mesa might have been fueled by a custody dispute.

Robert Lehmann, 36, was arrested Tuesday as the suspect in the shooting deaths of his ex-wife, Emily Ford, 32, of Costa Mesa and her father, Russell Ford, 62, of Downey.

The Fords had come to Lehmann's home to pick up the former couple's 7-year-old daughter, Glass said.

Emily Ford, a special-education preschool instructional aide at Paularino Elementary School in Costa Mesa, was described as engaging and loved by the staff. She worked with autistic 3- and 4-year-olds, Principal Stacy Lynne said.

In addition to the 7-year-old, who attends Sonora Elementary School in Costa Mesa, she leaves behind a 3-month-old son she had with her current husband, school district officials said.

"She was a wonderful, nice lady who always had a smile on her face," Lynne said. "She was very happy with where her life was. She was in a very happy relationship."

Read the full story: Shooting suspect charged with murder.

-- Lauren Williams, Daily Pilot / Times Community News

Photo: Police tape surrounds a car at the scene of a shooting in which two people were killed in Costa Mesa on Tuesday night. Credit: Kent Treptow / Times Community News