Boyfriend fatally stabs romantic partner and her 4-year-old daughter, deputies say


Angel Cuz-Choc faces charges in the deaths of his girlfriend woman and her 5-year-old daughter in Florida. (Crime scene screenshot from 10 Tampa Bay/YouTube; Suspect's photo from Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

Angel Cuz-Choc faces charges in the deaths of his girlfriend woman and her 5-year-old daughter in Florida. (Crime scene screenshot from WTSP/YouTube; Suspect’s photo from Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office)

Authorities say a man beat and stabbed to death his romantic partner and her 4-year-old daughter in their Florida mobile home.

Angel Gabriel Cuz-Choc, 31, faces two counts of first-degree murder with a weapon in the deaths of Amalia Coc Choc de Pec, 36
Estrella Anastasia Pec Coc, authorities said.

The killings happened on Wednesday at a mobile home in the 3700 block of Sumner Road in Dover, outside Tampa. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office received a call at about 5:30 p.m. regarding a dead female, deputies said in a news release.

Authorities found the side of the mobile home smeared with a bloody handprint from the woman, suggesting she had been fighting for her life, trying to escape the violence, officials said. She was found dead in the backyard “in her own puddle of blood,” and the girl dead inside, officials said.

The suspect had run away, prompting a manhunt that ended after 18 hours on Thursday morning when a police dog found the suspect nearby in heavy vegetation, an arrest the sheriff’s office released body camera footage of.

“This murderer will now face the full weight of the criminal justice system for these heinous and vile murders that he committed against these two innocent victims,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said in a news conference.

The suspect was romantically involved with the woman and had no connection with the 5-year-old girl, whose father is in Guatemala.

Working with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the sheriff said the suspect had recently entered the country unlawfully. Details about his history were scarce as investigators were working through the early stages of the case, he said, adding officials were working to find out whether his girlfriend and her daughter had also come to the U.S. unlawfully.

The sheriff applauded his deputies for quickly capturing the suspect in a neighborhood on edge. Authorities had set up a perimeter of up to 3 miles, knowing the suspect had a head start. Officials believe the killing happened around 3:40 p.m. when a woman heard a female scream, which the sheriff said was not unusual in the neighborhood, so the sheriff’s office didn’t get a call then. It wasn’t until a roommate returned to the mobile home and made the grim discovery at 5:30 p.m. that authorities were called.

Authorities searched for the suspect using bloodhounds on the ground and helicopters in the air. Deputies urged residents to stay indoors and be alert for anything unusual, such as unlocked cars or open windows.

When they found the suspect, he had cash and his cellphone, which he used to try to call his boss, his brother, and friends, whom deputies tracked down and spoke with overnight, the sheriff said, adding that the response across the board was “absolutely not.”

“They all declined that offer and denied that help and said, ‘You’re not getting us involved,’” the sheriff said. “So, great job by this community. Luckily, because of those efforts, we’re not sitting here announcing that someone else has gone to jail for harboring a fugitive.”

“He couldn’t get up and go anywhere, and there wasn’t a square inch of this 2.5-mile, almost 3-mile circumference that we didn’t have covered,” he added.

Cuz-Choc confessed to both murders in interviews with detectives after he was arrested, the sheriff’s office said.


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