Prior to her death, a woman identified her ex-boyfriend as the man who allegedly assaulted her and stabbed her on a Chicago train platform.
Alejandro Arellano, 31, of Chicago, has been charged with one count of first-degree murder in connection with the death of 26-year-old Samantha Maldonado, the Chicago Police Department announced in a March 13 news release.
“A key piece of evidence in this case came from the victim herself,” First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter said during a Monday press conference announcing Arellano’s arrest, per ABC 7 Chicago. “She named Arellano as the offender before she succumbed to her injuries.”
Carter added that surveillance footage from the CTA station helped investigators take Arellano into custody less than 15 hours after the crime.
“Although, this offender is in custody, there’s still a family at the center of this who is grieving the loss of a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her,” the superintendent told reporters, per CBS News.
About an hour before the violence on March 10, the pair were seen by patrons arguing at Miller’s Pub in the city’s downtown Loop neighborhood at about 1:20 a.m., The New York Post reports.
After the stabbing, Maldonando gave responding paramedics the full name of who had allegedly attacked her before being pronounced dead at a local hospital, authorities said, per WTTW.
According to the Post, prosecutors said Arellano and Maldonado were coworkers who recently ended a six-month relationship.
According to CBS News, citing police, the investigation quickly led authorities to Arellano, who allegedly admitted to police that he “poked” his ex-girlfriend with a “blade” after being arrested at his home the afternoon of March 11. A bloody knife was among the evidence recovered from his residence, authorities said, per CBS News.
Maldonado moved to Chicago from Ecuador less than a year ago, where the rest of her family still lives, according to ABC 7 Chicago.
“My family and I created this fundraiser to help the family of Sami (Samantha) Maldonado with the unplanned funeral costs her parents are facing, as well as bring awareness to stopping domestic violence,” reads a GoFundMe campaign launched by her loved ones.
“To say this is something that is heart-wrenching and shocking for our family just scratches the surface on what we’ve been experiencing since learning this news.”
Loved ones said on the fundraiser’s description that Maldonado left South America in pursuit of a better life.
“Sami was and is a truly one-of-a-kind, beautiful soul,” the page states. “To talk with her was like being reminded of what true joy and generosity looks like in a person.
Reports say Arellano is being held without bond. It is not immediately clear if he has entered a plea or retained an attorney to speak on his behalf.