An 18-year-old mother is dead after an obsessed co-worker stabbed her 30 times after she rejected his advances.
Vinessa Lozano had just finished a shift at the Pizza Ranch in Montevideo, Minnesota Friday night when 24-year-old Darek Nelson allegedly stabbed her with a large hunting knife.
The kind-hearted teen had befriended Nelson after he started working at the pizza restaurant more than a year ago, as it seemed he had trouble making friends.
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Gone too soon: Vinessa Lozano, 18, was stabbed more than 30 times outside of the pizza joint where she worked
Fatal attraction: Darek Nelson, 24, was arrested after he was found standing over Ms Lozano's body in Pizza Ranch's parking lot
Officers came minutes later to see Nelson standing over the fatally wounded teen, knife in hand, the Minnesota Star-Tribune reports.
Ms Lozano’s mother Robin Savoy, said his infatuation was like ‘a high school crush gone bad.’
Ms Savoy said friendship with her daughter made Nelson ‘feel like he was important.’
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But Nelson took Ms Lozano’s friendship to be something more, despite the fact that she had an 18-month old son and a fiancée.
Her mother said Nelson became obsessed with Ms Lozano, offering to do her chores at work and giving her cigarettes.
Be a friend: Ms Lozano befriended Nelson after he started working at Pizza Ranch more than a year ago
Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher told the Star-Tribune that when police arrived, they saw Nelson standing over Ms Lozano as she lay on the ground.
They told him to drop the knife, which he did after the first officer on scene drew her gun. He was arrested and taken to Yellow Medicine County jail.
Police say Nelson didn’t have any prior convictions or arrests. He now faces first-degree murder charges.
Cut short: Ms Lozano was studying to become a nurse and also worked at a nearby nursing home
Ms Lozano was transported to the Chippewa County-Montevideo hospital, but died from her injuries.
Ms Savoy told reporters that her daughter dreamed of becoming a nurse, and was studying at Minnesota West Community and Technical College.
She worked a second job as a certified nursing assistant at a nearby nursing home.
Grieving: Ms Lozano's mother Robin Savoy (left) said Nelson's infatuation was like 'a high school crush gone bad'
Gone too soon: Ms Lozano leaves behind a fiancee and her 18-month-old son Carson
Montevideo Mayor Deb Fader said the act was a ‘senseless crime’ on the police department’s Facebook page.
‘Our hearts are heavy for this sad act. May the families be blessed with wisdom and God’s healing mercy at this time,’ she wrote.
Ms Savoy laments that her grandson Carson will never know his mother. ‘Her son will never know her,’ she told Fox 9 News.
But amidst the tragedy, the grieving mother said she was full of pride, despite the tragedy of the situation. ‘I’m so proud to say she was my daughter,’ she said.
The restaurant remains closed as police continue their investigation. According to KSTP-TV, authorities believe the attack was premeditated.
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