The Guatemalan suspect in the “very bizarre´´ mystery killing of a co-worker´s 3-year-old daughter at a downtown Los Angeles garment factory was charged Thursday with murder, along with the attempted murder of a woman at another factory eight months ago.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Sergio C. Tapia II ordered Ricardo Augusto Utuy, 34, to be held in lieu of $3 million bail while awaiting arraignment Dec. 7 for the girl’s killing, as well as an attempted murder charge involving a woman who was stabbed on March 10.
Utuy allegedly attacked Ruby Vasquez of Los Angeles after her parents brought her to work around 5:15 p.m. Monday at a factory in the 800 block of McGarry Street, near Eighth and Alameda streets.
The girl’s mother saw her daughter, who had gone to give her father a cookie, running toward her with Utuy close behind, according to prosecutors.
Utuy allegedly stabbed the girl multiple times with a knife, then fled. She was driven from the scene in a private vehicle, which was met by an ambulance that took her to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
Police have not determined a motive for the attack, said Los Angeles police Detective Supervisor Moses Castillo with the Juvenile Division’s Abused Child Section.
Utuy, a Guatemalan national, later surrendered at the LAPD’s Rampart Station and was booked early Tuesday on suspicion of murder.
“After seeing Utuy’s photograph (in news reports), an additional victim came forward and provided a statement to detectives linking him to (an) unrelated crime,” according to a statement released by the LAPD.
Castillo called the March 10 attack “very similar” to the attack on the girl. He said the child’s family is “devastated” by what happened.
“Obviously this is a case that has really touched all of our hearts,” Castillo said.
Police are trying to locate a man named Alex who is believed to be an acquaintance of the defendant and may be able to provide valuable information about him, the detective said.
— Staff and wire reports