Police in the US have arrested two teenagers in connection with the murder of a Domino’s Pizza worker who was stabbed 50 times and bludgeoned as she delivered an order to them.
The stabbing took place on Thursday evening as the victim, 27-year-old mother-of-one Elizabeth Hutcheson, was delivering pizza to an address in the small city of Cedartown in Georgia.
Cadedra Cook, 18, who lived at the house, and a 15-year-old boy whose name police are not releasing, are in custody in Polk County Jail on murder charges.
Police said a pizza order was placed by telephone at Domino’s shortly before 9 pm on Thursday and Ms Hutcheson was the delivery person sent.
Ms Hutcheson was found bleeding in the doorway of the house at around 9.15pm by police officers conducting a traffic stop nearby who rushed to the scene when they heard her screams.
She was pronounced dead at Polk Medical Center.
Police said both attackers fled on foot after the stabbing, and after a search overnight involving many different police teams, officers apprehended the teenagers at around noon yesterday in a nearby field.
‘We had been one step behind them most of the night,’ Cedartown Police Department Assistant Police Chief Jamie Newsome told reporters. ‘We were finally able to catch up to them.’
Newsome told the Cedartown Standard investigators were looking for a motive for the killing.
Each suspect is currently charged with one murder charge, but he added: ‘There will probably be more charges.’
Ms Hutcheson lived in Cedartown with her fiance and her four-year-old daughter. Her fiance said she took the job at Domino’s in order to support her daughter, Fox News reported.
Newsome said money was taken from Ms Hutcheson in the incident, but the amount was so little that he couldn’t see that as being the only motive. He also said it couldn’t yet be determined whether the killing was premeditated or not.
‘It’s been 15 to 18 years since we’ve had a something this violent,’ he said.
Newsome said he could not confirm or deny that Ms Hutcheson knew Ms Cook or the youth, or whether the youth was the same boy involved in Ms Cook’s arrest in March.
Polk County Deputy Coroner Tony Brazier said Ms Hutcheson’s body had multiple stab wounds to the head, chest and torso, told another local paper, the Rome News Tribune.
He said it was ‘one of the most senseless crimes’ he had ever had to work on.
Ms Cook, who also lives in Cedartown, was charged with interference with child custody and contributing to the delinquency of a minor in that incident, according to jail records. She was released on bond on 20 March.
Records indicate that Ms Cook hasn’t gone to court on those charges.
Newsome said Ms Cook had not appeared to be violent in previous police interactions.
‘This would be out of the ordinary for her,” he told the Cedartown Standard.
Polk County District Attorney Bobby Brooks said he hasn’t yet decided whether to try the boy as an adult.
Ken McIntyre, a spokesman for Domino’s Pizza, said that the corporation was informed of the stabbing last night and was likely to offer to pay Ms Hutcheson’s funeral expenses.
‘We were horrified. An innocent person losing her life is just beyond words,’ Mr McIntyre said. ‘Are prayers go with the family.’
When asked about the risk to employees delivering pizza, Mr McIntyre said Domino’s gives training programmes to its employees and encourages drivers not to carry more than US$20 with them.
‘We have been delivering pizzas for 52 years, and there’s a lot we do, but what we can’t do is eliminate evil,’ he said.