An Asian senior was fatally stabbed while walking her dogs in Riverside, CA on Saturday morning.
The incident, which police say appeared to be “completely random,” occurred in the area of Golden Avenue in the neighborhood of La Sierra just after 7 a.m.
Ke Chieh Meng, 64, was found bleeding from stab wounds in her abdomen. She was rushed to the Riverside Community Hospital and pronounced dead.
After the incident, residents in the area reported a suspicious-looking woman. Soon, police located and arrested Darlene Stephanie Montoya, 23, of Monterey Park.
A preliminary investigation revealed that Meng was “randomly confronted and attacked by the transient woman,” who then fled the scene.
“When our detectives interviewed the suspect, they didn’t come across anything to suggest she attacked the victim due to her race,” Riverside Police Officer Ryan Railsback told CNN.
Montoya has been charged with murder, a weapons violation and potentially being under the influence of an illegal substance. She is being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center without bail.
Just days before this incident, Montoya was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon. However, due to the emergency bail schedule brought about by COVID-19, she was released on a “Notice to Appear” citation.
Meng’s death remains under investigation.
“The suspect is homeless from LA County and is obviously experiencing mental health and substance abuse issues,” said Railsback, adding that “the attack could have happened to anyone.”
Meng’s son Yi Bai, however, is demanding answers.
“Why was it her? Was it because she is elderly and she can’t fight back? Was it that she was an easy target? Was it that she was Asian?” he asked KNBC. “I don’t really know why she was attacked.”
A GoFundMe campaign has since been started Yi “James” Bai, the son of the victim, to help with funeral costs and to seek justice in his mother’s death.
Anyone with information is urged to contact Detective Dan Mercadefe ([email protected]) at 951-353-7103 or Detective Brett Stennett ([email protected]) at 951 353-7213. Tips may be submitted to [email protected].
Feature Images via Riverside Police Department