Detectives Investigating Death of Dallas Attorney

Ira Tobolowsky's family members say they are praying for justice

The family of a prominent Dallas attorney who was found dead in his burning garage last week is hoping for answers.

Firefighters discovered Ira Tobolowsky's body Friday morning after they put out a suspicious fire. Detectives are investigating Tobolowsky's death as a homicide.

"You would expect at this point to [feel] a mixture of anger and sadness," said Tobolowsky's brother-in-law, Stuart Prescott. "I would say anger is prominent among the emotions at this point in time."

Investigators went door-to-door seeking surveillance video that would provide critical clues in the investigation, but said Monday evening no such video exists.

Tobolowsky had worked as an attorney in Dallas for 45 years and was highly regarded within the community.

"He was the guy that everyone turned to for advice, for guidance, for help," Prescott said. "He was a lawyer's lawyer, and he was the guy you called for legal questions about anything. He had a tremendous practice."

He was involved in a high-profile, emotionally charged civil case. While it's unclear if the case is related to Tobolowsky's death, the presiding judge told the Dallas County Sheriff's Department he's now afraid for his personal safety.

Deputies patrolled the judge's neighborhood Sunday night, but a sheriff's department spokeswoman said extra patrols would not continue Monday. His courtroom staff and bailiffs remain on high alert.

"In general, we might have known there was a big case going on, but I didn't know much of the details," Prescott said. "He was brave, and he would not be the guy to be afraid of anything. And I certainly can't imagine that he imagined that this was possible."

Tobolowsky was also a father to three adult sons, one of whom is getting married in two weeks.

"He was the most committed dad to his three sons," Prescott said. "He was the guy with the camera in front of every game, every event."

The wedding will go on.

"In Judaism, you don't cancel an event like that. You might change it, but you don't cancel a wedding," Prescott said. "We may look at changes to the reception. Maybe there is no reception at all, maybe there is no dancing."

"But I don't think there's any thought whatsoever about not going forward with a beautiful event like a wedding," he continued, noting that it's "what Ira would have wanted, too."

Family members said they are trying to stay strong as arson investigators work to close the case.

Dallas police referred all inquiries about the case to Dallas Fire-Rescue, calling it the "lead agency." The fire department did not reveal new details Monday.

Investigators are asking the public for information about the circumstances leading up to the fire.

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