The woman beheaded by a man with a sword outside her home on a Bay Area street in California has been named Karina Castro by her family.
Castro, 27, was brutally killed in San Carlos, located about 24 miles south of San Franciscoa few steps from the house sheltering his two daughters, aged one and seven.
his father told NBC Bay Area that her daughter had a restraining order against his alleged killer.
The San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office identified the suspect as the victim’s former boyfriend, Jose Solano Landaeta, who was arrested after returning to the scene of the horrific murder.
Castro’s family told ABC7 that the 33-year-old suspect is the father of his one-year-old daughter and told the news channel he was diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Law enforcement records on the incident indicate that the incident occurred just before noon, when police began receiving calls about “a 25-year-old woman… her head was cut off by a sword”.
The children did not witness their mother’s violent murder, San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Eamonn Allen told a news conference after the crime scene was cleared.
Child protective services intervened shortly after to take the seven-year-old and one-year-old girls, along with a dog and two cats who were found inside the house on a residential street calm.
“The children are there, they are afraid to come…they want their mum,” reads the police file.
Once at the scene, officers began working in the area and were able to quickly arrest the man they believe was responsible for the murder.
“They began working on the scene and shortly after the male suspect returned to the scene and was quickly arrested by sheriff’s deputies,” Lt. Allen said.
Hayward resident Jose Solano Landaeta was arrested for homicidethe officer confirmed, adding that the weapon used in the attack was “still in circulation”.
ABC reported that the victim was granted a temporary restraining order against the man in April, but did not disclose whether that order was still active at the time of his death.
Neighborhood residents recounted in horror what they saw unfold on the street outside their homes, some so shocked they found themselves baffled with the simple question of “why?”
A neighbor, Chapel Thorborne, told ABC 7 of the harrowing scene he walked into when he arrived at his home in the Bay Area neighborhood shortly after Thursday’s attack.
“The head was under the car and it was lying in the back of the car – just cut off,” he said. “And they covered it.”
Mr Thorborne, who said he had brief encounters with the pair before the deadly attack began, described how he saw the suspect with friends shortly after the beheading.
“After cutting off his head, he came, him and his two friends,” Mr Thorborne told ABC. “And they walked right by me and they arrested him.”
Officers who first responded to the scene would have been distressed at the devastation facing them, Lt. Allen said. He noted that peer services would be made available to those affected by the events.
“Anytime someone loses their life, it’s definitely a tragedy. As far as the shocking nature of that goes, I know the deputies who arrived on the scene first were a bit mobbed by the scene” , he said, adding that the peer services that were made available to officers would also be made available to witnesses, “because there were several civilian witnesses.”