PHOENIX - Police say a man has been arrested for murder after he stabbed his girlfriend more than two dozen times before fleeing to Mexico.
According to court documents, a woman reported just after 2 p.m. on Sept. 5 that she had not seen her tenant, 59-year-old Patricia Hawking, for several days at a casita near 24th Street and Arizona Biltmore Circle. The woman said she called Hawking's phone, but another person answered, saying he found her phone near the intersection of 32nd Street and University Drive.
Officers responded to the scene. The front door was pushed open and blood was on the ground. Once inside, officers found the inside of the home was "in disarray with clear signs of a struggle, broken furniture and damaged items." A bloody knife was also found in a trashcan.
Hawking was found dead in a bedroom. An autopsy later performed revealed Hawking had been stabbed 26 times. Part of a knife was still lodged in her back.
Investigators were able to obtain video surveillance inside the casita, which showed Hawking involved in a physical altercation with her boyfriend, 53-year-old Erik Islas. Hawking's family members told police that her relationship with Islas was "tumultuous" and she had been hospitalized multiple times after being allegedly assaulted by Islas, court documents said.
"The victim told family members about threats Erik had made to kill her and her family by stabbing them with a knife," court documents read.
On Sept. 6, Islas was detained while returning to the United States. He was interviewed by police and allegedly admitted to stabbing her before fleeing to Mexico.
"He took the victims phone so he could not be tracked and fled to Mexico," court documents read.
Islas was booked into jail and is accused of first-degree murder.
Area where the woman's body was found: