Pregnant Lyft Driver Stabbed To Death By Passenger In Arizona

Residents at the apartment complex told authorities that they could hear Kristina Howato screaming for help.

January 29, 2019

Fabian Duranzo [La Paz County Sheriff's Office]

Fabian Duranzo [La Paz County Sheriff's Office]

By: Catherine Townsend

TEMPE, AZ — A pregnant Lyft driver was stabbed to death in Arizona by a passenger in a frenzied attack on Sunday morning, according to police.

Kristina Howato, 39, dropped off her Lyft fare, Fabian Duranzo, at an apartment complex located in the 1700 block of East Eighth Street in Tempe shortly after 1 A.M., police said in a statement.

Duranzo, 20, then allegedly turned on Howato and began stabbing her with a kitchen knife. She escaped the vehicle and the suspect continued stabbing her before stealing her vehicle and fleeing the scene, Tempe Police Sergeant Ron Elcock said.

Residents at the apartment complex told authorities that they could hear Howato screaming for help. “She started banging on my neighbor’s door below us, and she kept asking for help. I heard her say that she was pregnant,” a neighbor told NBC News.

The unidentified man told the news station that he and his roommate ran to the woman’s aid – and found her covered in blood.

Police responded to a call regarding the stabbing at approximately 1:15 A.M., Elcock said. Howato was taken to a hospital where she and her unborn baby were pronounced dead. Howato had been in her third trimester of pregnancy.

Police were able to use the GPS inside Howato's car to locate Dorazo. They arrested him on Interstate 10 in Quarzsite, Arizona – and according to police, he admitted to the stabbing.

Durazo is being held on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of vehicle theft, one count of armed robbery, and one count of kidnapping, police say.

"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 press conference on Monday. "This is definitely one of those incidents that really is going to affect the police department for a long time, and the community will think about this for a long time."

Lyft officials released a statement on Monday. It read:

"We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims.”

“The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority. The passenger's account has been permanently deactivated and we are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigation."

Read more: NBC News, AZCentral.com

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