Arizona man arrested for allegedly stabbing girlfriend 26 times, fleeing to Mexico

MARICOPA COUNTY, AZ- An Arizona man is in custody, facing first-degree murder charges after allegedly stabbing his girlfriend 26 times and fleeing to Mexico. Erik Islas, 53, a resident of Peoria, is believed to have attacked his 59-year-old girlfriend, Patricia Hawking, during a dispute on September 3.

The case came to light when Hawking’s landlord, unable to reach her for several days, alerted the police. The landlord had called Hawking’s phone, only to have a man answer, claiming he had found the phone at an intersection in Phoenix.

Upon entering Hawking’s residence on September 5, police discovered a scene of violence. Blood was found on the floor, and a bloodied knife was discovered in the trash. The house was in a state of chaos, with broken furniture and damaged items indicating a struggle had taken place.

Hawking’s body was subsequently found in a bedroom, showing clear signs of trauma. An autopsy revealed she had been stabbed 26 times, with a piece of the knife still lodged in her back.

Surveillance footage obtained by the police showed Hawking and Islas in a physical altercation on the day of her death. Family members of the victim informed the police that the couple’s relationship had been stormy, with Islas having previously harmed Hawking. They also revealed that Hawking had confided in them about threats Islas had made to kill her and her family.

Police were able to trace Islas’ vehicle, discovering that he had crossed the border into Mexico. He was apprehended upon his return to the U.S. According to the police, Islas confessed to arguing with Hawking, assaulting her, and then stabbing her multiple times with the intention of killing her. He did not attempt to provide aid or call 911, instead taking Hawking’s phone to avoid being tracked and fleeing to Mexico.