TEMPE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -- Tempe police on Monday identified the pregnant woman who was stabbed to death over the weekend as Kristina Howato, 39, as well as the man investigators believe killed her. 

Howato, who was in the third trimester of her pregnancy, was a Lyft driver and was working when she received a pickup request in the area southwest of Rio Salado Parkway and McClintock Drive, Sgt. Ron Elcock of the Tempe Police Department said. 

Mug - Fabian Durazo pregnant woman stabbed

Fabian Durazo is facing a variety of charges, including two counts of first-degree murder.

That’s where she picked up Fabian Durazo, 20, whom police identified as the suspect.

[ORIGINAL STORY: Arrest made after deadly stabbing involving pregnant woman in Tempe]

Police said Durazo attacked her with a knife when the victim pulled up to the apartment complex near University and McClintock drives. She was still in her vehicle.

He continued to attack after she got out of the vehicle, Elcock said. Durazo then left the scene in her 2005 silver Mercury SUV.

Witnesses reported seeing that SUV leave the scene.

Howato was taken to the hospital where she and her unborn baby were pronounced dead.

Tempe police, with the help of the Arizona Department of Public Safety and the La Paz County Sheriff's Office, used GPS to locate Howato’s SUV near Quartzsite.

"The suspect was arrested at that location without incident," Elcock said.

Elcock also said Durazo admitted to stabbing Howato and taking her SUV.

The details of that interview were not immediately available, but there is no indication that Durazo was on drugs at the time of the attack. They also do not believe Durazo and Howato knew each other prior to the Lyft call.

Police have not determined the motive, but Elcock said investigators believe Durazo planned to steal Howato's vehicle when he called Lyft.

"He ended up killing her in the process of stealing the vehicle," Elcock said in an email to Arizona's family.

Durazo is being held at the La Paz County on suspicion of first-degree murder – one count for Howato and one for her unborn child -- in addition to other charges. 

Durazo will make his initial court appearance in La Paz County. After that, it will be determined when he will be transferred to Maricopa County.

Howato has two children – a 2-year-old and a 4-year-old. Those children are with family members.

Police said Durazo has family in California. He was arrested about 25 miles from the Arizona-California border, according to DPS spokesman Kameron Lee.

Arizona State University confirmed to Arizona's Family that Durazo is not currently a student. He took a classes at ASU for one year in 2016. 

"Throughout our careers as officers, we have incidents that really, really touch our hearts and stay with you throughout your careers," Elcock said. "This is definitely one of those incidents that really is going to affect the police department for a long time, and the community will think about this for a long time."

"Swift action and outstanding police partnerships" are what led to the "rapid apprehension" of Durazo, Tempe Police Chief Sylvia Moir tweeted Monday afternoon.

"We were shocked and deeply saddened to learn of this tragedy, and our thoughts are with the family and friends of the victims," Lyft said in a statement emailed to Arizona's Family. "The safety of the Lyft community is our top priority. The passenger’s account has been permanently deactivated and we are actively assisting law enforcement with their investigation."


Copyright 2019 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


Recommended for you