The scene in San Carlos was so horrific, sheriff's deputies are being provided with counseling
SAN CARLOS, Calif. -- A man apparently used a sword to behead a young woman in the street in front of stunned witnesses in a Bay Area neighborhood on Thursday, according to law enforcement sources.
The suspect and victim had been in a relationship, but law enforcement sources told ABC7's sister station KGO-TV that in April she had gotten a temporary restraining order against the suspect, identified as Hayward resident Jose Solano Landaeta.
The suspect returned to the scene as officers were investigating the woman's death and was taken into custody.
The victim was described as a woman in her 20s with two young daughters.
Officially, authorities at a news conference would only say the victim was killed with a stabbing instrument. But sources told KGO's Dan Noyes that the victim was beheaded. Law enforcement records obtained by KGO's I-Team said just before noon, reports came in that the woman's head was cut off by a sword. At 12:14 p.m., the notes indicated "Children are there, scared to come... want their mom."
The San Mateo Co. Sheriff's Department said the crime happened in the 300-400 block of Laurel Street and Magnolia Avenue at 11:50 a.m., in the street outside the victim's residence.
The graphic nature of the crime was stunning enough that counselors are being provided for sheriff's deputies who were first to arrive to the horrific scene, as well as neighbors who watched the events unfold.
During a press conference, Lt. Eamon Allen said that the victim had two children, who did not witness the crime. Sources tell Noyes the kids were inside the house at the time.
Protective services took custody of the two girls, ages 7 and 1, along with a dog and two cats who were also inside the house.
"They arrived within minutes and found an obviously deceased female in the street in that area," Allen said. "They began to work the scene and shortly thereafter, the male suspect arrived back at the scene and was quickly detained by sheriff's deputies. He was later placed under arrest for homicide. We can confirm that a stabbing instrument was used in the commission of the crime. That weapon is still outstanding."
The search for that weapon is still ongoing. We're told the suspect suffered a medical emergency of some sort but details are limited.
VIDEO: San Mateo County sheriff officials discuss violent San Carlos murder
Sources say there was a history of domestic violence at the address where the woman was killed.
Officials are providing peer support to both first responders and a group of witnesses who saw this tragic situation unfold.
There's still an active crime scene, with this community in shock. Many are only returning from work now, learning about that young mother who was beheaded in the middle of the street, in the middle of the day.
The victim's name is being withheld pending family notification.
"Anytime someone loses their life it's certainly a tragedy," Allen said. "As far as the shocking nature of it, I do know that the deputies that first arrived on scene were a little beset by the scene. We are providing peer support, we are also providing support for the witnesses that were on scene as well, because there were several civilian witnesses."