Homicide victim remembered as a hardworking tow truck driver

A South Bay father, who was killed in a rural road in unincorporated San Mateo County, is being remembered Wednesday night as a hardworking tow truck driver.

Authorities said 31-year-old John Pekipaki was found stabbed to death in a remote stretch of Skyline Boulevard Tuesday night. He is the second murder victim who was found on that road in 24 hours. The other victim is 32-year-old Abdulmalek Nasher, a taxi cab driver from Pacifica. 

Deputies announced 26-year-old Malik Dosouqui of Pacifica is in custody. Authorities are trying to determine if the suspect had prior contact with the two murder victims. A source tells KTVU it appears Dosouqui did not know them.

“It was just a random stabbing,” said Liki Pekipaki. “My brother was on a work call. He was on that route it happened at.”

Liki Pekipaki is John Pekipaki’s sister. Sheriff deputies found Pekipaki gravely injured and calling for help around 11 p.m. He later died at the scene.

“They said it was a late-night call,” said Liki Pekipaki. “I guess 50 yards from where they were searching the other victim before they heard him.”

Deputies were there investigating another homicide from 24 hours prior. The victim is a Yemeni-American cab driver, 32-year-old Abdulmalek Nasher of Pacifica. Nasher also received a work call Monday night. 

“Both homicides happened in close proximity of each other and both victims died from multiple stab wounds,” said Lt. Stephanie Josephson of San Mateo County Sheriff’s Dept. “Investigators are actively looking into a connection between the two homicides.”

Deputies detained 26-year-old Malik Dousouqui of Pacifica after discovering Pekipaki. A source tells KTVU Dousouqui has a mental illness. Deputies said Dosouqui tried to flee and fired at his car to stop him.

“The suspect was not hit by gunfire but the vehicle went off the roadway into a ditch,” said Lt. Josephson. “The suspect was taken into custody and is receiving medical care for a laceration to his arm.”

“It was foggy up there and he couldn't find the person who called for service,” said Lene Lauese of East Palo Alto. “He told the receptionist he's going to leave and go back to Redwood City.”

Pekipaki worked as a tow truck driver for Specialty Towing, a small operation out of East Palo Alto. Lauese works at a tow yard next door and said she last saw Pekipaki Tuesday at 6 p.m.  Later that night, he was dispatched to a call.

“The person who called for the service is that the person who killed him that I don't know,” said Lauese.

Liki Pekipaki said her brother was a caring man, who was loyal to his family and worked hard for his kids.

“He was a regular guy just trying to make a life out here,” said Liki Pekipaki.

The district attorney’s office has yet to receive the case since the suspect is recovering from his injuries at the hospital. Relatives said Pekipaki leaves behind an 11-year-old son and one-year-old daughter.