A Teenage Love Triangle Turned Deadly In Pinellas Park, Florida
Rachel Wade made good on her threats to murder Sarah Lundemann on April 15, 2009.
A threatening voicemail came back to haunt Rachel Wade when she went to trial for killing Sarah Lundemann, her romantic rival.
“I’ll f—- murder you” she seethed into Lundemann’s voicemail in 2008. The feud was over a boyfriend, 20-year-old Joshua Camacho, who was seeing multiple women at the same time.
One of them was Sarah, a high school senior who had been a model student until she met Camacho. She was a good student, a miracle baby born to two people told they’d never have children of their own. Her father drove a cab and her mother worked in healthcare. It was a blue collar life, and the world was at Sarah’s fingertips.
Described by friends and family as innocent for her age, Sarah didn’t see the red flags in the relationship with Camacho. She was in love, and even asked her parents if she could transfer high schools to be closer to where Camacho lived. The women he was involved with took their anger and jealousy out on each other instead of on the man playing them all. Sarah’s parents were concerned about her involvement with Camacho but were reportedly unsure of how to address the situation.
Sarah and one of Camacho’s other girlfriends, 19-year-old Rachel Wade, were in a longstanding feud that took place on social media, by cell phone, and in person. Each of them vied to be Camacho’s sole girlfriend, and the fight escalated until a deadly night in April 2009.
The 911 call came in after dark. The dispatcher could hear the chaos in the background as the caller asked for an ambulance and reported a stabbing. First responders arrived in a typically quiet neighborhood and found Sarah lying on the ground outside of the van she’d been driving. There was blood everywhere, and she had two stab wounds in her chest. She was still breathing, but the situation was dire.
Initial investigative efforts confirmed that the stabbing had happened during an argument about a boy, and officers spoke to Wade, who was still calmly sitting at the scene of the crime. Wade tells authorities that Sarah had been harassing her by phone and online all day, and that she was visiting a friend when Sarah pulled up in a van and a fight broke out. Wade did appear to have some minor injuries, but was otherwise unharmed.
With Sarah on her way to the hospital, Wade was taken to the Pinellas Park Police Department for a formal interview. She was emotional as officers questioned her about the night, telling them that she’d been scared when Sarah pulled up. According to Wade, she hadn’t planned to stab Sarah, but had approached their vehicle while holding the knife. It happened in a split second, she said. Sarah tried to hit her and Wade tried to hit back, telling police the stabbing was an accident.
When Sarah was pronounced dead at the hospital, Wade was arrested and charged with her murder.
The case went to trial in July 2010. Wade took the stand in her own defense, using Florida’s “Stand Your Ground” law to argue that she was simply defending herself against threats from Sarah. Her defense attorney pointed out the size difference in the two young women to bolster the claim. Wade was a petite 5’4” and approximately 100 lbs. Sarah stood 5 inches taller and weighed 60 more pounds.
The defense strategy, however, fell flat and it took a jury less than 3 hours to find Wade guilty of second-degree murder. She was sentenced to 27 years in prison.
She is currently housed at the Lowell Correctional Institute Annex in Ocala, Florida, with a projected release date of July 1, 2032. She will be 42 years old when she is released from prison.
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