Pregnant Mom & Unborn Baby Stabbed to Death in Brutal Lyft Attack

Pregnant Lyft Driver Murdered
ABC 15

Authorities from Tempe, Arizona, caught the man they believe fatally wounded his pregnant Lyft driver and her unborn baby over the weekend. According to police, Fabian Durazo ordered a ride from the car service app and then attacked his driver, Kristina Howato, with a knife when they pulled up to his destination. Police announced that neither mom nor her unborn baby survived the brutal stabbings, and officials are now raising awareness about the tragic incident that they say has affected the entire community.

  • Howato, who was in her third trimester, was working as a Lyft driver when she received a ride request early on Sunday.

    According to NBC News , 39-year-old Howato picked up 20-year-old Durazo early on Sunday morning. He then allegedly attacked her with a kitchen knife when they reached their destination and pulled up to an apartment complex. Durazo reportedly pulled out the knife and attacked her with it while still inside her sport utility vehicle and continued to stab her even after she managed to get out of the car. 

    Sgt. Ron Elcock of the Tempe Police Department said that after Howato escaped from her silver Mercury SUV, the man then stole her car.

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  • Police responded to a 911 call about 1:15 a.m. When they arrived at the apartment complex, Howato was unconscious.

    Despite witness trying to help, by the time authorities arrived, it was too late.

    One apartment complex resident, who asked not to be identified, told ABC 15 Arizona that he spoke to Howato after her attack. He heard her go over to his neighbor's apartment, bang on the door, and yell for help. "I asked her what happened and she said she was stabbed," the resident remembered. "I tried to locate the wound, and so I asked her where she was stabbed and she said, 'All over.'" 

    The resident said there was "blood everywhere" and that other neighbors said they could hear Howato's screams. The resident who spoke with reporters added that he and his roommate tried to administer as much first aid as they could, but Howato fell unconscious while they were trying to get information from her. Once police arrived on the scene, the mom was rushed to the hospital, where both she and her unborn child were pronounced dead. 

  • Tempe police were able to find the suspect using Howato's GPS to locate her vehicle.

    According to Azfamily.com, police received help from the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the La Paz County Sheriff's Office and used the mom's GPS to track her SUV about 150 miles away near the California border. 

    Sgt. Ron Elcock of the Tempe Police Department told reporters that Durazo "was arrested at that location without incident" and that he admitted to police that he stabbed Howato and stole her car, Azfamily.com reported. Police have yet to find any indication that Howato and Durazo knew each other before the incident, and there is no evidence yet that suggests the young man was on drugs during the crime. 

    Elcock told reporters that Durazo "ended up killing [Howato] in the process of stealing the vehicle" though they have not officially discovered a motive yet. NBC News added that Durazo is being held on two counts of first-degree murder (one for Howato and one for her unborn child), one count of theft of means of transportation, one count of armed robbery, and one count of kidnapping. He was booked in La Paz County Jail but will reportedly be moved to Maricopa County Jail.

  • Police spoke out about the tragedy on Monday in a press conference where they expressed their grief over the senseless crime.

    Howato already had two other children on the night she was murdered -- a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old who are now staying with relatives, reported Azfamily. And now Lyft and the Tempe police are speaking out about this incident. 

    A spokeswoman for Lyft gave NBC News this statement: 

    "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.
    And Elcock also remarked on how the death of Howato would affect the entire Tempe police staff. "Throughout our careers as officers, we have incidents that really, really touch our hearts and stay with you throughout your careers," he said Monday during a news conference. "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."

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