Authorities believe a Lyft passenger in Arizona stabbed his pregnant driver, killing both the woman and her unborn child.
According to Phoenix station KPHO, over the weekend Kristina Howato — who was in her third trimester of pregnancy — picked up Fabian Durazo in a suburban Phoenix area. After Durazo allegedly stabbed the woman to death, he stole her vehicle and drove nearly 150 miles before police caught up with him and arrested him near the California state line.
Monday, police confirmed that the 20 year old was being held at a La Paz County jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of kidnapping and armed robbery.
Police spokesman, Sgt. Ron Elcock, says Howato was working during the early hours of Sunday when she received a pickup request in west Tempe. When she and Durazo arrived at an apartment complex only about a half-mile away he attacked her then fled in her SUV.
Officers arrived to the scene at approximately 1:30am after hearing reports that a woman had been heard screaming in the parking lot. The mother to be suffered numerous stab wounds and was transported to a hospital, where both she and the unborn baby died.
“Throughout our careers as officers, we have incidents that really, really touch our hearts and stay with you,” Elcock said at a news conference. “This is definitely one of those incidents that really is going to affect the police department for a long time.”
Lyft rider charged with murder after prosecutors say he stabbed his heavily pregnant driver and stole her SUV https://t.co/JGStqKk7Ve
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Howato, 39, is survived by two other children. Authorities have yet to determine a motive for the fatal stabbing remains undetermined although they don’t suspect the two had known each other previously.
“We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims,” read a statement from officials with Lyft.
The San Francisco-based ride sharing company says it is assisting with the investigation, and has reassured the public that the passenger’s account has been permanently deactivated.