UPDATE: Police: Murder victim possibly stabbed by scissors or kn - WKOW 27: Madison, WI Breaking News, Weather and Sports

UPDATE: Police: Murder victim possibly stabbed by scissors or knife, suspect identified

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UPDATE (WKOW) -- Late Friday night, the Dane County Medical Examiner's Office confirmed the homicide victim is 24-year-old Christina Hatcher of Madison.

An autopsy on Hatcher was done Thursday. The Medical Examiner's Office says she died as a result of homicidal sharp force injuries. Additional testing is underway.

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MADISON (WKOW) --- Madison Police have identified the suspect in the killing of Christina Hatcher as her boyfriend, 39-year-old Jose L. Vazquez-Garcia, and have arrested him for domestic strangulation.

He has not been charged for the homicide.  Police say he is the primary and only suspect in the murder investigation.

Vazquez-Garcia remains hospitalized, after surviving a car fire the day before Hatcher's body was found.

Search warrant affidavits filed in Dane County show Hatcher may have been stabbed with a pair of scissors or a knife.

After authorities say Hatcher's body was found Wednesday on a bed in the Calypso Road apartment she shared with Vazquez-Garcia, records state Dane County Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent Tranchida determined Hatcher a swollen eye, contusions all over her upper body, and nearly ten "sharp weapon defects" to her neck.

The affidavits say "...a pair of scissors and a knife were recovered from the scene..." and detectives want to determine whose DNA is on the objects.

Records state both Hatcher and Vazquez-Garcia worked at Applebee's restaurant in Madison, and a co-worker had often heard them arguing, with Hatcher expressing concern over what she said was her boyfriend's gambling problems.

Authorities say Vazquez-Garcia was hospitalized Tuesday after emerging from a car fire at Reindahl Park.

Gary Laufenberg spotted flames and smoke and rushed to the burning car, as Vazquez-Garcia stumbled out.

"He was dazed, confused, burnt,"  Laufenberg says.

Laufenberg says it was difficult to get Vazquez-Garcia away from the inferno.

"And I'm pulling him over, saying, 'Come on, let's get away from the car,' then he crept forward to the car again,"  Laufenberg tells 27 News.

Affidavits state a fire officials says an initial investigation indicates something exploded in the car.  Laufenberg says the sound of an explosion prompted him to race from his nearby home to the car.

Madison Police officials say they suspect the car fire may have been a suicide attempt.  Affidavits state Vazquez-Garcia told emergency responders he had been smoking cigarettes and marijuana, fell asleep, and woke up to fire.

Laufenberg says he acted on instinct in trying to save Vazquez-Garcia.  He now wonders about his own fate if a gun had been involved in a possible murder by Vazquez-Garcia.

"To approach him, after he's just killed someone: Why wouldn't he shoot me?"  Laufenberg asks.

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MADISON (WKOW) --  Search warrant affidavits filed in Dane County state homicide victim Christina Hatcher may have been stabbed with a pair of scissors or a knife.

Authorities say the 24-year old Hatcher's body was found Wednesday in her apartment at 2501 Calypso Road.   Affidavits in connection with court ordered searches say the body was found on a bed.

Records state Dane County Medical Examiner Dr. Vincent Tranchida determined Hatcher had a swollen eye, contusions all over her upper body, and nearly ten "sharp weapon defects" to her neck.

The affidavits state Hatcher's boyfriend, 39-year-old Jose Vazquez-Garcia, had been burned in a car fire at Reindahl Park the day before the discovery of Hatcher's body.  Records state he had burns to a leg and one hand, and was taken to a hospital.  Records state the burned car belonged to Hatcher.


Affidavits state the scissors and a knife were among the items seized by police from the apartment the couple shared.  An affidavit states investigators believed there was DNA evidence on the sharp objects, and obtained a DNA sample from Vazquez-Garcia at the hospital.

Records state Vazquez-Garcia told officers at the scene of the fire he had been smoking cigarettes and marijuana in the car and fell asleep, and awoke to the fire.  Fire department personnel are investigating the fire as possible arson, and a police spokesperson told 27 News reporter Gordon Severson the possibility of a suicide attempt is also being investigated.

For more on this developing story, visit wkow.com and watch 27 News.

 

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