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Suspect arrested in fatal stabbing in which attacker wore ninja mask

December 24, 2011 |  1:01 pm

 Authorities say they have arrested a 19-year-old man wanted in connection with the stabbings of three people inside a Murrieta home this week.The suspect entered the house wearing a ninja mask, police said.

William Gary Simpson Jr. was taken into custody around 9 p.m. Friday without incident at the home of his mother, Bernadette Simpson, in Hesperia, according to the Murrieta Police Department and inmate booking record.

Simpson was booked on suspicion of murder and two counts of suspicion of attempted murder. He is currently being held at Southwest Detention Center without bail.

The stabbings occurred Tuesday. Shortly before 4 a.m. police officers arrived at the house in the 40000 block of Milkwood Lane, where the suspect had entered the home wearing what family members described as a ninja mask. Upon arriving, officers found a young woman critically wounded. Her boyfriend and father also had suffered stab wounds. Witnesses told police that the suspect had fled from the scene.

The woman, who has been identified as 18-year-old Saskia Burke, died at the scene, according to Riverside County coroner officials.

The two men were rushed to local area hospitals and were listed in stable condition.

Homicide detectives learned that Simpson knew the family and had lived at the home as a foster child as recently as 2010.

Simpson allegedly had been on the run for several days before his arrest Friday.

In an interview with KTLA following the stabbings, Saskia's mother, Catherine Burke,  described the stabbings and said her daughter had died in pain.

"I came downstairs and saw my child dead, and I had to take the knife from the guy that killed her," Burke said, holding her tears back. "I'm sorry that when I took the knife away last night that I didn't kill him with it."

Police have not determined a motive for the stabbings.


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