A Peninsula family was coping with a devastating loss Tuesday after a routine drunk driving arrest led police to discover the body of a woman who was stabbed to death in an East Palo Alto apartment.
Police found the victim's body early Tuesday morning at the apartment building at 45 Newell Road near Highway 101.
Authorities said they learned of the homicide in an unusual way. The tip came after the drunk-driving arrest Monday night of a 48-year-old man in Redwood City.
"A short time after that, he revealed that he had killed an individual. Officers responded to this location," said East Palo Alto Police Sgt. Tommy Phengsene.
Authorities later issued a press release that identified the suspect as Richard Slaughter.
Police said a preliminary investigation revealed the victim and suspect were in a dating relationship at the time of the homicide and possibly residing together. The victim sustained multiple stab wounds to her upper torso.
Police later released the name of the woman early Tuesday evening, but KTVU had already talked with her family Tuesday afternoon and learned from them that the homicide victim was 47-year-old Philomena Ashford-Anderson.
"All I know is what I see today," said the victim's distraught sister Freda Anderson-Johnson. "When my sister came out of her own apartment, deceased like that, I just keep asking, why?'"
Anderson's family said she worked as a counselor at a nearby drug and alcohol rehab facility.
"Oh, she was a very nice person," said Anderson’s son Frank Finney. "[She was a] community-wise person and everything."
Anderson's sister seemed to be taking the news the hardest.
"I just wish God would have took me instead of taking my little sister," said Anderson-Johnson. "She was the baby of the family, and she was always happy."
Other family member's praised Anderson for her generous nature.
"She was always helping everybody," said Anderson's nephew Dwayne Robinson. "She did everything she could. She was just real, real giving."
"Use my sister's experience as an example to touch other people's hearts," said Anderson-Johnson.
Her son also said that he had met the man suspected of killing Anderson.
"I met him before. He was an alright person," said Finney. "But I don't understand why he did it."
Slaughter was booked Tuesday into the San Mateo County Jail on murder charges.
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