Boyfriend Arrested on Suspicion of Killing Record-Breaking Shoe Collector in Menifee

Darlene Flynn had the world’s largest collection of shoe-related items – 15,000 pieces worth $500,000.

By Tony Shin
|  Tuesday, Jul 23, 2013  |  Updated 9:42 PM PDT
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The body of Darlene Flynn, a famous shoe collector, was found at her home in Menifee Tuesday. Flynn was featured on the TLC show “My Collection Obsession.” Police have called the incident a domestic dispute turned deadly, and have arrested her boyfriend for murder. Tony Shin reports from Menifee for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 23, 2013.

Tony Shin

The body of Darlene Flynn, a famous shoe collector, was found at her home in Menifee Tuesday. Flynn was featured on the TLC show “My Collection Obsession.” Police have called the incident a domestic dispute turned deadly, and have arrested her boyfriend for murder. Tony Shin reports from Menifee for the NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on July 23, 2013.

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A record-breaking shoe collector was found dead at her Menifee home, and her live-in boyfriend has been arrested on suspicion of murder, authorities said.

Darlene Flynn had the world’s largest collection of shoe-related items – 15,000 pieces worth $500,000.

Investigators believe Flynn’s death is related to a domestic dispute. The 58-year-old was found dead in her backyard pool.

Authorities said officers spotted Flynn’s boyfriend, Justin Smith, 29, running from the home he shared with Flynn and took him into custody Monday.

Flynn was featured on the TLC show “My Collection Obsession.”

In the episode, Flynn proudly talks about her shoe collection, which is recognized by Guinness World Records and is also featured on her website DarsShoeHeaven.com

A neighbor said crews were at Flynn’s home about two months ago filming the episode.

The same neighbor said Flynn and her boyfriend were “always fighting.”

“Always arguing. I mean, loud, constantly fighting,” Carina Cazarez said. “It was horrible.”

Smith, pictured at right, appears in Flynn’s episode of “My Collection Obsession.”

“Darlene always makes me make her a shoe-shaped breakfast,” he said in the show.

Smith is being held without bail and is expected to appear in court Thursday for an arraignment.

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