MURRIETA – Police are still seeking the killer of a 18-year-old woman, the suspect having also severely wounded the victim’s father and a 17-year-old boy spending the night, early Tuesday morning.
Police had not identified the attackers as of Tuesday night after the predawn triple stabbing.
Saskia Burke, 18, was declared dead shortly after police arrived, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office. It is the first killing in Murrieta since January 2010.
A neighbor, his son and two other men had charged into the home along the 40000 block of Milkwood Lane after a woman could be heard screaming hysterically, according to police reports. Police were called at 3:55 a.m.
Police said the neighbor, John Sennett, was only able to see the back of the assailant, but have named William Gary Simpson, 19, as the suspect. Investigators said Simpson, a black male adult who is 6-foot-2-inches and wearing dark clothing, was one of two black children raised by a Caucasian family, Paul and Catherine Burke.
Investigators have led a search for Simpson since the predawn crime, but have not been able to track him down.
When the four men, including Sennett and his son, rushed into the home, they discovered a bloody scene inside, said police. A witness account said the suspect was beating up the female teenager’s father. The stabbings occurred on the first floor of a two-story home which was just off Hancock. St. Sgt. Phil Gomez, a spokesman for the Murrieta police, said Burke was pronounced dead at 4:11 a.m. The man and male teen were taken to a local hospital and underwent surgery. As of Tuesday afternoon, they were both listed in serious condition, police said.
Captain Dennis Vrooman said the suspect, Simpson, had once lived at the home. He said that Simpson, who likely lived in the high desert region of San Bernardino County, last lived at the Burke’s home in late 2010.
Witnesses said the suspect had fled on foot, leaping over a fence that led to Los Alamos Rd., leaving a bloody trail behind. Reports are that he had dumped bloody clothing inside a vacant home in that area that were also discovered by police.
Gomez said, “We don’t know what the motivation was for this attack.” Police said two knives were found, including one on the sidewalk in front of the house and another on a different walkway. Police used tracking dogs and a sheriff’s helicopter to try and spot Simpson.
Reports stated that likely residents inside the house at the time of the stabbings included a father, a mother, a daughter in her early teens, a daughter in her late teens (who was likely the fatally stabbed victim), along with a son and the unrelated boy in his late teens. The other two stabbing victims were not yet identified by police.
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