SACRAMENTO— A man has been arrested for the homicide of a woman that occurred on Wednesday evening, April 22, in North Highlands.
Sacramento County Sheriff’s Homicide Detectives arrested Juan V. Avalos, 28, of Sacramento, who attacked and slashed a woman’s throat near a parking lot on the 7400 block of Watt Avenue near Larchmont Drive before fleeing the scene on foot.
Police received numerous calls about a woman—identified as Nichole Riolo, 32—who appeared to be injured and unconscious in a parking lot. When police and medical personnel arrived, they declared her deceased at the scene at 10:30 p.m. Detectives do not know the weapon used in the attack. Nor do they believe the victim and assailant knew each other.
Further investigation revealed that Riolo was driving southbound on Watt Avenue and pulled over after encountering a man walking on the roadway. Deputies surmise that she may have thought she clipped Avalos with her car as she drove past.
Witnesses told police that Riolo got out of her vehicle and approached Avalos, who became belligerent. It was when she turned and walked back to her car that Avalos attacked her, and then took off running. She reportedly stumbled across Watt Avenue into a parking lot where she then collapsed.
Avalos has been booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail on a charge of murder and is currently being held without the possibility of bail. When he was arrested, detectives said he seemed intoxicated or suffering from mental health issues. He is currently undergoing psychiatric observation. Records show Avalos had been previously arrested by Sacramento Police on June 26 of last year for burglary, possession of a controlled substance, and resisting arrest. He was picked up then at 29th and N Streets in downtown Sacramento.
The victim, Nicole Riolo was supposed to get married this October. Family said the wedding venue had already been reserved.
According to a Facebook page called Candlelight Vigil for Nichole Riolo, there will be a gathering tonight, April 24 at 8 pm, at Jessey Food and Liquor, 7440 Watt Ave North Highlands, the scene of her final moments. The page says about Riolo “She was taken from this earth to soon. And we are asking the community to come out and show support for her and her family in this time of trial! We are a community we need to ban together in times like this because the more we do the more we can prevent senseless acts of violence like this. RIP Nichole Riolo”