A California mother was stabbed to death in front of her children by her ex-boyfriend, against whom she had obtained a restraining order, police said.
Salinas Police said in a press release that officers found 30-year-old Eleni Tavau at her home on Sunday with multiple stab wounds, although she was unresponsive but still alive. Two of their children, both toddlers, were nearby at the time, police said.
Tavau was taken to the hospital in serious condition, where she succumbed to her injuries.
Police arrested her ex-boyfriend and father of her children, Rodrigo Bravo, 32, on suspicion of child endangerment, violating probation terms and violating a domestic violence restraining order. He turned himself in to authorities less than three hours after the knife attack on Tavau, police said.
The Monterey prosecutor’s office did not answer questions from HuffPost, but online court records showed Bravo had entered a plea of not guilty.
Brian Johnson, a spokesman for the Salinas Police Department, said the local news agency KSBW that Bravo stabbed Tavau in front of her children.
“And he basically did it in front of them or in the area of the kids, so that’s going to be one of the charges – because the kids were there, [the] crime [would be] “Danger to children,” Johnson said.
Tavau’s brother, Alex Carr, told KSBW that when he spoke to his sister hours before her death, she told him that she plans to leave her boyfriend to move in with him in Reno, Nevada.
“She started telling me how he started being abusive verbally, mentally, and then physically, and she seemed like she just didn’t want anything to do with him,” Carr said.
On Facebook, Tavau’s father mourned his daughter in several posts and honored her legacy. He shared a screenshot of a post she made in December, in which she said she was fed up with Bravo, having previously abandoned her goals to support him.
“I can now pursue my goals ❤️✌️,” she wrote at the time.
Do you need help? In the US, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). National Domestic Violence Hotline.