A man charged with murder in the fatal stabbing of a 3-year-old girl in a downtown Los Angeles garment factory attacked the child as she was going to give her father a cookie, prosecutors announced Thursday.
The suspect, 34-year-old Ricardo Augusto Utuy, worked at the clothing factory in the 800 block of McGarry Street with the victim’s mother, although authorities said the two had minimal, if any contact.
On Monday, Utuy attacked “without warning” and stabbed the little girl, identified as Ruby Vasquez, who had been dropped off at the factory by her father to be with her mother just a short time earlier, a Los Angeles Police Department news release stated.
According to the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, Ruby was getting her father a cookie and she was running toward her mother with Utuy close behind. The suspect then allegedly stabbed the victim multiple times with a knife.
Ruby was taken to a local hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
"The motive is still unknown. It's a really bizarre, unprovoked incident that we cannot wrap our minds around," LAPD Det. Moses Castillo said at a news conference.
Utuy fled the factory following the attack, but later turned himself in and is being held on $1 million bail.
He was scheduled to appear in court for the first time Thursday, but his arraignment was postponed to Dec. 7, officials said.
He is being charged with murder in connection with Ruby's death and attempted murder in connection with an attack on a woman at another factory in downtown in Los Angeles on March 10, according to the DA's office. In that crime, Utuy allegedly stabbed the woman before leaving the scene.
The woman came forward and talked to investigators after apparently seeing Utuy on TV. Police also want to speak to a man named Alex, who they believe may have been victimized by Utuy.
He also faces a special allegation that he used a deadly and dangerous weapon during Monday's attack. The suspect faces life in state prison if convicted as charged.
Anyone with additional information about Utuy was asked to contact the Police Department.