Loop CTA stabbing: New details revealed after ex-boyfriend allegedly kills woman boarding train
CHICAGO - A man has been charged with fatally stabbing his ex-girlfriend on a Loop CTA platform over the weekend after the woman gave his name to police before she died.
"A key piece of evidence in this case came from the victim herself," First Deputy Supt. Eric Carter said as he announced first-degree murder charges against Alejandro Arellano, 31. "She named Arellano as the offender before she succumbed to her injuries."
Arellano followed Samantha Maldonado, 26, up the stairs to the platform of the Adams/Wabash L station around 1:20 a.m. Saturday, according to Chicago Police Public Transportation Cmdr. Joe Bird. He approached her on the platform and stopped her as she walked toward an arriving train, Bird said.
Maldonado tried to move away but he pushed her, pulled a knife and stabbed her repeatedly, Bird said. She was able to run down to the street before collapsing. Responding officers found her in the 200 block of South Wabash Avenue, a trail of blood leading from the station, police said.
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Maldonado, who grew up in Ecuador, was taken to Stroger Hospital with wounds to her abdomen, chest and left arm, police said.
Arellano fled on a train but investigators were able to use CTA and police surveillance cameras to track his movements and arrest him about 15 hours later in the 1600 block of North Kimball Avenue, Carter said.
He was carrying a folding knife when he was taken into custody, according to the police report.
Arellano has been arrested once before, in August 2014, when he allegedly pulled a knife on someone. He was charged with aggravated assault, but the case was dismissed, according to court records.
"Although this offender is in custody, there’s still a family at the center of this who is grieving the loss of a young woman who had her whole life ahead of her," Carter told reporters Monday morning.
Paulette Lopez, Maldonado’s cousin, described her as someone with "long, brown beautiful hair, sweet eyes and a really sweet smile."
The two were able to exchange Christmas presents for the first time in December when Maldonado came to Chicago from Ecuador. "She was very joyful," Lopez said. "She was always willing to meet new people."
Some of Maldonado’s goals included building her own business and traveling the world. She graduated from a "top university in Ecuador and was taking English classes here, according to the GoFundMe page.
"Sami was and is a truly one-of-a-kind, beautiful soul," Lopez wrote on a GoFundMe page set up to raise money for her funeral. "She loved easily and is loved by so many. She constantly looked out for others and was generous at heart, ready to help anyone at a moment’s notice."
Her cousin’s murder "turned her family upside down a bit," Lopez said. "It’s a rollercoaster of anger and sadness."
Maldonado’s parents flew in from Ecuador after the stabbing, and the family were busy cooperating with police and gathering funds for Maldonado’s funeral.
Lopez says she and her family were grateful for the "people and officers who were able to be there with her when we weren’t. We just want to be able to live our lives as fully as she did."