SAN ANTONIO – A grim Valentine’s Day scene greeted neighbors along South General McMullen as a body was carried out on a stretcher Tuesday morning.
A male caretaker, 35-year-old Paul Dominguez, told police and neighbors he visited his friend, 61-year-old Elma Sartuche, around 6 a.m. and then went to breakfast. When he returned, he said he found she had been stabbed several times.
“He said he had gone to the restaurant and returned to find her dead. He didn’t say in what condition or what,” said Noemi Hinojosa.
Hinojosa was getting into her car when Dominguez ran up to her to explain what he had found inside the home he often shared with Sartuche.
In front of the home, detectives could be seen pulling an orange-handled filet knife out of the recycling bin and sealing it in an evidence bag.
Neighbors said Sartuche lived alone and was a former school teacher who in her later years sold flowers from a nearby flower stand. Dominguez was often seen selling the flowers with her, neighbors said.
As for Dominguez, a witness told KENS 5 the caretaker is mentally-disabled, and that he wasn’t too clear about what happened Tuesday morning.
Hinojosa said, "He was with her most of the time. So, if she was sick or something he would be the one to find her. He just told me that he found her. I said, ‘Did you call 911?’ He said, ‘No.’ So I said, ‘Let me call.’”
Police said Dominguez had blood on his clothing, and he was taken downtown for questioning.
His mother, Angelita Aranda, told KENS-TV the scene must have been traumatic for him, although she doesn’t believe he was involved in the crime.
“But you don’t think he did anything here?” a reporter asked.
“No, I do not. He could not even kill a fly,” Aranda said.
Police thought otherwise, and booked Dominguez on murder charges. His bond is set at $100,000.