LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It was a break-up gone terribly wrong as police say a woman in her early 30’s was stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend during a meet-up Friday night in a convenient store parking lot.
“The female recently broke up with her boyfriend three days ago. As a result of that break-up, the male had separated and moved out of the apartment,” said Lt. Ray Spencer, LVMPD. “At some point, there was a discussion with the suspect and the victim about returning some personal property.”
The victim’s mother, who was not hurt, accompanied her daughter to exchange the items and witnessed the whole thing as her daughter got out of the car to meet him.
Liz Ortenburger, the CEO of SafeNest, a domestic violence agency in town says the victim did the right thing by having someone accompany her, but when dealing with such violent behavior it’s important to pay attention to the warning signs from the start.
“In the case from Friday, what’s so tragic is that you could see she was trying to put safety mechanisms in place, to create a safe exchange of the items,” said Ortenburger. “If you are ever hearing language in a relationship, like, ‘If you left me, I would kill myself,’ or if you were ever strangled or if there is a gun in the home and you are being abused; You are in a lethal situation.”
When someone tries to leave the relationship, experts say violence is more likely.
“What we know is the most lethal time in a relationship for domestic violence is when you are preparing to leave or within that first three months to a year after you have left,” said Ortenburger.
Ortenburger also says if something feels off, don’t neglect that feeling.
“You need to trust your gut, because what your instincts are telling you is that i have a collection of information that is telling me to make a different decision, but society makes it, so we are pushed to do something different.”
Police say the suspect, who’s described as a Hispanic man in his 40’s, had a prior domestic violence charge, but it is unclear if it involved the victim or not.
If you know anything about this incident or know someone going through a domestic violence situation, you are urged to call Crime Stoppers at (702) 385-5555.