Pregnant Lyft driver brutally stabbed to death by passenger, unborn child dies: cops

Pregnant Lyft driver brutally stabbed to death by passenger, unborn child dies: cops

By Amy Lieu, Fox News

Lyft rider in suburban Phoenix brutally stabbed his pregnant driver multiple times, killing her and her unborn child Sunday morning before stealing the victim’s vehicle, authorities said Monday.

Suspect Fabian Durazo, 20, drove nearly 150 miles before being arrested near the California line on Monday, officials said. Tempe police said victim Kristina Howato, 39, was in her third trimester of pregnancy, a report said.

Durazo 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, authorities said.

Howato was working as a Lyft driver early Sunday when she received a pickup request in west Tempe around 1 a.m., said Sgt. Ron Elcock, a police spokesman. Tempe is about 10 miles east of Phoenix.

Durazo allegedly stabbed Howato repeatedly while inside the 2005 Mercury SUV and continued the attack outside the car, The Arizona Republic reported.

The attack happened when they arrived at an apartment complex, about a half-mile away from the pickup location, after which he fled in her vehicle. Police officers responded to the apartment complex about 1:30 a.m. after receiving reports of a woman screaming in the parking lot.

Tempe police found Howato suffering from multiple stab wounds, the report said. She was transported to a hospital where she and the unborn baby died.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials then used GPS tracking to locate the stolen SUV on Interstate 10 near Quartzsite, about 25 miles from the Arizona-California line, Tribune Media reported. Durazo was taken into custody Sunday afternoon.

Police said they don’t believe Durazo and Howato knew each other and have not determined a motive for the fatal stabbing.

Howato is survived by two other young children, ages 2 and 4, according to The Republic.

“Throughout our careers as officers, we have incidents that really, really touch our hearts and stay with you throughout your careers,” 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.”

A statement from officials with San Francisco-based Lyft said, “We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims.”

Lyft said it is assisting with the investigation and that the passenger’s account has been permanently deactivated.

It was unclear Monday if Durazo has a lawyer yet who could speak on his behalf.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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