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Suspect arrested in Willmar stabbing

WILLMAR, Minn. -- A Willmar man was taken into custody Thursday after stabbing a woman at a home, Willmar Police Chief Jim Felt said.

Exsavor Rene Cruz, 19, was arrested about 1:15 p.m. when officers served a search warrant on a home in the 1500 block of Gorton Avenue Northwest.

Initial charges against Cruz are second-degree assault with a weapon and attempted first-degree arson.

The victim, Maria H. Garcia, 64, of Willmar, was airlifted to a hospital. Her condition was unknown to police Thursday afternoon.

The stabbing was reported at 8:11 a.m. along the 400 block of 13th Street Northwest, and officers arrived to find the woman with multiple stab wounds at a neighboring residence where she had gone for assistance. Garcia identified the suspect.

Authorities searched the home where the stabbing occurred but found no one.

Felt said officers recovered what they believed to be the weapon, along with evidence of what appeared to be an arson attempt, possibly to conceal the crime.

Cruz is believed to be a relative of the victim through marriage.

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