Elita Maldanado told Las Vegas police she killed a man she slept with for money after hearing her daughter’s voice in her head, according to her arrest report.
Maldanado, 31, was booked over the weekend into the Clark County Detention Center on charges of murder and robbery in connection to the death of 49-year-old William Sanford.
Officers responded to the apartment complex about 4 p.m. May 29 after one of the tenants saw bloody footprints leaving Sanford’s apartment. Sanford dead inside his east Las Vegas home near Lake Mead and Nellis boulevards about 4 p.m. on May 29.
The tenant who called police said he saw a woman, later identified as Maldanado, “chanting or praying” just outside Sanford’s apartment the night before, the report said. He also heard yelling and banging from the apartment and could hear Sanford yelling for help.
After police identified Maldanado as the suspect, detectives tracked her down and found that she had been arrested in Wyoming’s Uinta County on June 1, Maldanado’s arrest report said. The report did detail what Maldanado had been booked on.
Maldanado told detectives Sanford picked her up in downtown Las Vegas after he agreed to pay her $200 to have sex with him, the report said. On the way to the apartment, Maldanado asked Sanford to help find her two daughters, and Sanford agreed.
After police say the two had sex and Sanford fell asleep, Maldanado said she heard her daughter’s voice in her head. It told her that Sanford had hurt her daughters.
She picked up a barbell and hit Sanford on the forehead, Maldanado told police.
The two fought throughout the house and ended up in the kitchen, where Maldanado said Sanford started choking her. She grabbed a butcher knife from a knife block and stabbed Sanford, the report said.
Then she panicked.
She stole his cellphone and grabbed the keys to his 2003 Cadillac and took off.
When the car ran out of gas, she hitched a ride to Union Plaza and then hopped on a cargo train on its way out of town. She thought it was going to Phoenix, but ended up in Wyoming, she told police.
Maldanado had nearly a dozen other run ins with law enforcement over the last year, including arrests related to prostitution, drugs and trespassing.
But her behavior appeared to escalate in the weeks leading up to Sanford’s death.
Maldanado got into an argument with her roommates on the night of March 29 before she brandished two kitchen knives and threatened two of them, yelling “I’m a killer!” the police report said. Maldanado was arrested on two felony counts of assault.
She pleaded guilty to lesser charges, and was released on April 16 after a judge gave her a suspended sentence, court records show.
Cassandra Taloma contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638. Find him on Twitter: @ColtonLochhead