Sunday, September 25, 2022

Woman allegedly beheaded on a San Carlos street in front of witnesses

A man allegedly beheaded a woman in the street in front of witnesses in San Carlos on Thursday morning.

Citing unnamed law enforcement sources, ABC7 reported that a woman was beheaded by a man she had gotten a temporary restraining order against.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office public information Lt. Eamonn Allen declined to confirm the account Thursday afternoon, but told The Chronicle that witnesses reported an assault in progress at 11:50 am at the 300-400 blocks of Laurel Street and Magnolia Avenue, where they found “an obviously deceased” adult female.

Police said the incident happened in the street in front of the home of the victim, who lived there with her two children. Allen said the children were not believed to be present at the time of the attack.

“A stabbing instrument was used,” said Allen, who declined to confirm what object was used.

Deputies arrived within minutes of the call, and shortly thereafter the suspect returned to the scene and was detained. Authorities have still not located the weapon, Allen said.

The suspect has been arrested on suspicion of homicide, Allen said, who added that he was “known to the victim” and that the deceased was believed to be an isolated victim. At a press conference Thursday, Allen said that police are still in the process of securing search warrants for her home and the man’s home.

The deputies who arrived were “beset by the scene,” said Allen, adding that the responding authorities and the witnesses have been connected to counseling services.

Allen said the office is not releasing any identifying details about the victim pending notification to her family. The San Mateo County Coroner’s Office also declined to comment.

Neighbors in the mostly residential neighborhood of San Carlos were stunned at the violence of the incident.

Lina Whittaker, who has lived in the area with her husband since 1994, said some of her neighbors in the past wouldn’t lock their doors.

“It’s a very quiet neighborhood,” Whittaker said. “I had my catalytic converter stolen here about four months ago but that’s the only thing I’ve experienced here.”

Hoping to feel more safe, Whittaker and her husband have installed more lights on their property, she said.

Nearby resident Tom, who has lived on his property on Laurel Street for 71 years, said the neighborhood has seen crime but said it was mostly property or auto crime.

“I’ve had my car stolen,” he said. “Police have told me it’s mostly folks who access the area from the freeway. Purpose violent crime? That’s not usual for here.”

Into Thursday evening, San Mateo Sheriff’s Office deputies, forensic investigators and Redwood City firefighters remained at the cordoned-off area outside the apartment complex hosing off the street and removing crime scene tape.

Annie Vainshtein (she/her) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: avainshtein@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @annievain

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