RIVERSIDE, Calif. (AP) – A 64-year-old Asian woman was fatally stabbed to death while walking her dogs in what Southern California police called an accidental attack.
Officers and paramedics responding to 911 calls about a woman lying on the street Saturday morning found Ke Chieh Meng was bleeding with multiple stab wounds, said Officer Ryan Railsback, a spokesman for the Riverside Police Department.
She was taken to a hospital where she died of her injuries, he said.
While officers were investigating the stab wound, authorities received calls from neighborhood residents about a woman walking through their yards, Railsback said. They took Darlene Stephanie Montoya, 23, from Monterey Park. in custody and booked her for investigation into murder, gun injury and being under the influence of an illegal drug.
Montoya is being held without bail. It is not known whether she kept a lawyer.
Railsback said the suspect was homeless and “obviously had mental health and substance abuse problems”.
The stabbing victim was an Asian, but investigators interviewing Montoya “found nothing to suggest that she attacked the victim because of her race,” Railsback said.
With attacks on people of Asian origin increasing over the past year, investigators will examine the possibility of a hate crime to “ensure they cover all of their bases,” the official said.
Montoya was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of attacking a woman with a skateboard but was released due to COVID-19 restrictions.
He said the victim in this case was a white woman.