4-Year-Old Girl And Mother Found Dead In 'Gruesome' Stabbing At Florida Home

A Florida man was taken into custody on Thursday after authorities said he killed his girlfriend and her 4-year-old daughter, Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister announced Thursday.

Angel Gabriel Cuz-Choc, 31, has been charged with two counts of first-degree murder with a weapon in connection with the death of Amalia Coc Choc de Pec, 36, and Estrella Anastasia Pec Coc, 4, whose bodies were discovered Wednesday at their mobile home in Dover, Florida, east of Tampa, according to Chronister.

Bodycam footage shows Hillsborough County officers Thursday during the arrest of Angel Gabriel Cuz-Choc.
Bodycam footage shows Hillsborough County officers Thursday during the arrest of Angel Gabriel Cuz-Choc. Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office

According to Chronister, the crime scene was so “gruesome” that detectives initially thought the victims had been beaten to death. Further investigation revealed the child and woman had been “violently” stabbed.

In a motion for pretrial detention, a copy of which was obtained by HuffPost, prosecutors said that Coc Choc was discovered lying face-down under a tarp in the backyard of the Dover home. Estrella was found in a small pool of water in a bathtub inside the home, with the water still running.

Both victims had been stabbed, according to the detention motion.

Detectives observed a trail of blood coming from the rear of the mobile home to the backyard and a handprint on a grill outside, which prosecutors said indicated Coc Choc had been carried outside against her will.

Surveillance footage cited in the motion reportedly showed that Coc Choc was “yelling in terror” as she was carried into the yard.

The Tampa Bay Times said that detectives think the killings happened about 3:40 p.m. Wednesday, about the time a neighbor reported hearing a woman scream. A roommate called 911 after coming home about 5:30 p.m. that day and finding the bodies, the Times reported.

Chronister told reporters on Thursday that Cuz-Choc had fled into a strawberry field and attempted to call those he knew for help but that they refused to become involved.

Cuz-Choc’s brothers reportedly told detectives that he confessed to the killings shortly after he fled, blaming the violence on finding out Coc Choc had been “out with a friend for three hours instead of her allotted hour and a half.” Chronister said that Cuz-Choc, the woman and her child had come to the area from Guatemala less than a year ago, the Times said. Detectives reported that the girl’s father is reportedly in Guatemala, according to WTSP-TV in St. Petersburg.

Chronister said that in the 18-hour search for Cuz-Choc, a deputy spotted him leaving an abandoned barn but that he ran off when he saw he’d been discovered.

Bodycam footage shows Cuz-Choc fleeing into thick brush as authorities used dogs to track him.

Chronister told reporters that deputies sicced a police dog on Cuz-Choc after the suspect refused several commands to surrender. At one point, the sheriff said, a police dog latched on to Cuz-Choc’s jacket but he was able to slip out of it before deputies finally were able to capture him.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, Cuz-Choc allegedly confessed to the killings when interviewed by investigators.