VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. (TCD) -- Two people are dead after a man allegedly fatally stabbed his wife in front of his 10-year-old stepson before turning the knife on himself.
On Monday, Oct. 17, Volusia County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a home on Gramercy Drive to a report of a stabbing, the Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. At the scene, authorities reportedly found 26-year-old Byanca Cruz Tovar and Oscar Mercado Salazar, 31, also known as Albertico Garza, unresponsive.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, Cruz Tovar was pronounced dead at the scene, while Mercado Salazar was pronounced deceased at the hospital approximately an hour later.
At the time of the stabbing, three children were reportedly home, but they were not injured. In a press conference, Volusia County Sheriff Michael Chitwood said the children were 10, 5, and 2 years old.
The 10-year-old son of Cruz Tovar allegedly told authorities he saw Mercado Salazar, his stepfather, stab his mother after an argument. He told detectives that his stepfather tried to stab him as well, but he was unharmed, the Sheriff’s Office said.
The child reportedly went to a neighbor’s home, and the neighbor found the victims unresponsive.
According to the Sheriff’s Office, investigators believe the suspect and victim got into a dispute over Mercado Salazar’s "discipline of one of the children" before he allegedly attacked his wife with a knife.
The couple had reportedly been living in the home on Gramercy Drive for around five months, and detectives learned the two had gotten into arguments in the past overheard throughout the neighborhood, but none of them were reported to law enforcement.
Previously, the Sheriff’s Office said Mercado Salazar was charged in 2016 with aggravated battery for allegedly abusing Cruz Tovar when she was pregnant in Orlando, Florida.
Chitwood called the alleged murder-suicide a "heartbreaking story," and "sickening."