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Crime News Breaking News

Passenger Allegedly Stabs His Pregnant Lyft Driver To Death, Also Killing Her Unborn Baby

Kristina Howato was in her third trimester when she was stabbed to death in Tempe, Arizona, allegedly by Fabian Durazo.

By Gina Tron

A Lyft rider in suburban Phoenix allegedly stabbed his pregnant driver, killing both the driver and her unborn child before stealing her vehicle and driving nearly 150 miles before being arrested near the California state line.

Tempe police announced on Monday that the victim, 39-year-old Kristina Howato, was in the third trimester of her pregnancy. She is survived by two other young children, ages 2 and 4, according to the Arizona Republic.

Fabian Durazo, 20, was being held at a La Paz County jail on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder and one count each of kidnapping and armed robbery, authorities said. He allegedly admitted to the killing, the Arizona Republic reports.

It was unclear Monday if Durazo has a lawyer yet who could speak on his behalf.

Howato was working early Sunday when she received a pickup request in west Tempe, said Sgt. Ron Elcock, a police spokesman.

Durazo allegedly attacked Howato when they arrived at an apartment complex about a half-mile away and he fled in her SUV.

Police officers responded to the apartment complex at about 1:30 a.m. after receiving reports of a woman screaming in the parking lot.

They found Howato suffering from multiple stab wounds. She was transported to a hospital where both she and the unborn baby died.

Arizona Department of Public Safety officials used GPS tracking to locate the stolen SUV on Interstate 10 near Quartzsite, about 25 miles from the Arizona-California line and Durazo was taken into custody Sunday afternoon.

Police said they don't believe Durazo and Howato knew each other and a motive for the fatal stabbing remains undetermined.

"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 Monday news conference. "This is definitely one of those incidents that really is going to affect the police department for a long time."

A statement from officials with San Francisco-based Lyft said: "We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims."

Lyft says it is assisting with the investigation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

[Photo: La Paz County Sheriff's Office]

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