Passenger stabs pregnant Lyft driver in her third trimester ‘all over,’ killing her and unborn baby: Police

An Arizona man is behind bars after he reportedly stabbed a pregnant Lyft driver to death after she picked him up during a graveyard shift in Tempe on Saturday.

AzFamily reports that Kristina Howato, 39, responded to a ride request at around 1 a.m. on Saturday morning, at the Omnia on 8th Street Apartments, off of Rio Salado Parkway and McClintock Drive. According to Sgt. Ron Elcock of the Tempe Police Department, 20-year-old Fabian Durazo requested the Lyft via its phone app.

When Howato arrived, Durazo allegedly attacked her after she pulled into the driveway of the complex, while she was still inside her silver 2005 Mercury SUV. Investigators said Kristina managed to get out of the vehicle, but the suspect kept stabbing her, then fled in her SUV, leaving her to die with numerous stabs.

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“She was just screaming out for, ‘Help, help‘ because she was stabbed,” resident Vivek Sharma, who lives in the complex, told the outlet.

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“She kept on screaming so I came out with my roommate. She noticed the blood, followed the blood around the corner and she was up on the stairs bleeding out,” another resident, Jon DeGuzman, said.

DeGuzman administered first-aid to Kristina while waiting on help to arrive.

“I got some gloves, tried to do the best first aide as we could and tried to stop any bleeding,” DeGuzman added. “I asked her what happened. She said she was stabbed. I asked her where and she said all over.”

First responders arrived to complex and rushed Kristina to the hospital, where she was pronounced dead. Doctors could not save the baby in time, who was also pronounced dead.

Authorities utilized a GPS locator to find the suspect and the vehicle. He had gotten close to 150 miles away when police captured him on westbound Interstate 10, close to Quartzsite. Police detained Howato without incident. He reportedly admitted to police that he stabbed the victim. Investigators said they didn’t think the pair knew each other, according to the outlet.

Elcock said the motive was likely to steal the SUV, but Durazo ended up “killing her in the process of stealing the vehicle.”

Kristina is survived by two other children, ages 2 and 4, along with numerous family members.

“This is definitely one of those instances that really is going to affect the police department for a long time and the community will think about this for a long time,” Elcock said.

The suspect is being held on suspicion of murder charges at the La Paz County jail.

The story is still developing. Check back with CrimeOnline as additional details become available.

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[Feature Photo: Fabian Durazo/Police Handout]