A man was found guilty Tuesday of murder in the fatal stabbing of a co-worker’s 3-year-old daughter at the downtown Los Angeles garment factory where he worked on Halloween 2016, court officials said.
Ricardo Augusto Utuy, 37, attacked Ruby Vasquez without warning while the child was running toward her mother inside the factory on the 800 block of McGarry Street, L.A. police investigators have said.
The killing occurred around 5:15 p.m., shortly after Ruby’s father had dropped the girl off at her mother’s workplace.
The child was running to retrieve a cookie for her father when Utuy, following close behind, pulled out a knife and stabbed her multiple times, according to prosecutors.
Ruby was taken to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
At the time, LAPD Detective Moses Castillo called it “a really bizarre, unprovoked incident that we cannot wrap our minds around.”
Utuy fled the factory following the attack, but turned himself in early the next morning.
At the time, the defendant had only been working at the factory about two weeks. Officials say he had minimal, if any, contact with Ruby’s mother, and he didn’t know the family.
Utuy was also convicted of attempted murder in the stabbing of a woman at another downtown L.A. factory on March 10, 2016. He allegedly fled the scene, but police said the victim recognized him in media reports surrounding Ruby’s death and contacted investigators.
The defendant is scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 23, when he will face 30 years to life in state prison.