Deputies responded to a call at 7:28 p.m. about a woman who was stabbed at 47 Woodhollow Lane in Palm Coast. Photo by Jonathan Simmons

Woman found dead after alleged stabbing

Detectives believe the stabbing may have been an act of domestic violence.
Aug. 23, 2017

A woman was found dead in a front yard at 47 Woodhollow Lane in Palm Coast on the night of Wednesday, Aug. 23, in what detectives believe was a domestic violence homicide.

The woman — whose identity was not released the night of Aug. 23 — was stabbed.

A Flagler County Sheriff's Office spokesman said deputies were dispatched to the area with a K-9 unit to search, and by about 9 p.m. were talking to a "person of interest" who was related to the victim.

Outside the home, city fire police closed off a section of Woodhollow Lane, directing nonlocal traffic around the area, while Sheriff's Office deputies set up crime scene tape outside the home.

Family members of the victim cried as they spoke to a detective along the side of the road outside the area the deputies had roped off.

Sheriff Rick Staly, speaking to reporters outside the home, said that a call about a possible stabbing had been received at the Sheriff's Office dispatch center at  7:28 p.m. 

The Sheriff's Office could not release information on details about the call or who made it because that information may be of evidentiary value, Staly said, and also could not confirm whether the victim was a resident of 47 Woodhollow Lane.

The first deputy on the scene, Staly said, tried to resuscitate the woman he found on the front lawn while waiting for the emergency responders, but could not.

“The information at this stage of the investigation would indicate that it is a domestic-related homicide,” Staly said. "We are securing search warrants at this time, and we have detained a person of interest that we are talking to. There are many witnesses that have to be interviewed, and this investigation is very preliminary at this point."

The Sheriff's Office is not searching for anyone else, except some possible witnesses, he said.

The victim, Staly said, was in her 50s or 60s; the person of interest is in his mid-20s. Investigators believed the two had a familial relationship, but would not specify what that relationship was, and Staly said he felt it would be inaccurate to describe the person who'd been detained as being "in custody."

“We are talking to him, and at this point he could be a witness,” Staly said. “I'm using the term 'person of interest.' The person we have certainly has information, and we'll have to see where it goes.”

The Sheriff's Office does not know of any neighbors who witnessed the stabbing, but has some individuals who saw "the activity that maybe was leading up to the homicide," Staly said. "So they may be witnesses but they may not have seen the actual act."

Staly emphasized that the investigation is at such an early stage that, at this point, "anything can change."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement's crime scene investigators and homicide investigators from the State Attorneys Office would also be investigating at the scene of the stabbing, he said. The Sheriff's Office was seeking a search warrant to enter the home at 47 Woodhollow, but did not expect to get it before the early morning hours of Aug. 24.

Staly noted that the homicide is potentially the county's third domestic-related homicide this year, and that it occurred just a day after a committee convened by the Sheriff's Office to address local domestic violence had met for its third session.

“It is very unfortunate,” he said. “It's exactly why we as a community have to come together and find a community-driven solution that will work in Flagler County.”

News Editor Jonathan Simmons contributed to this report.

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.