A Pregnant Woman Was Stabbed To Death As She Drove For Lyft
Kristina Howato, who was in her third trimester of pregnancy, was stabbed to death with a kitchen knife by a man who then stole her car.
Authorities in Arizona have arrested a man accused of stabbing a pregnant Lyft driver, killing her and her unborn child, as he stole the woman's car.
Kristina Howato, 39, was killed after responding to a request from a would-be Lyft passenger around 1 a.m. on Sunday morning, Tempe police told BuzzFeed News in a statement.
When she arrived at the address just east of Phoenix, the male passenger then stabbed Howato, who was in her third trimester of pregnancy, with a kitchen knife multiple times.
"She exited the vehicle [and] he continued to assault her with that knife," police spokesperson Sgt. Ronald Elcock told reporters.
The suspect, later identified as 20-year-old Fabian Durazo, then fled with the woman's car.
Residents at an apartment complex told local station ABC 15 Arizona that they could hear the woman's screams.
"I asked her what happened and she said she was stabbed," said one resident, who asked not to be identified. "I tried to locate the wound, and so I asked her where she was stabbed and she said, 'All over.'"
Howato soon lost consciousness and was taken to a local hospital, where she and her unborn baby were declared dead.
Police told BuzzFeed News that Howato's car, a 2005 Mercury SUV, was equipped with GPS technology, which helped them locate the suspect almost 150 miles away near the California border.
"La Paz County Sheriff’s Office worked with multiple agencies to take this suspect into custody," deputies there wrote on Facebook. "Our condolences to the family and friends of the victims."
Durazo is being held on two counts of first-degree murder, as well as vehicle theft, armed robbery, and kidnapping charges.
"During a post-Miranda [rights] interview, the suspect admitted to stabbing the victim and taking her vehicle," police said.
In a statement, Lyft said it deactivated Durazo's account and was working with authorities.
"We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims," the ride-hailing company said in a statement to Phoenix station KPHO. "The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority."
Howato also leaves behind two other children, ages 2 and 4.
"This is definitely one of those incidents that really is going to affect the police department for a long time," said Elcock, "and the community will think about this for a long time."