Suspect in ‘brutal’ murder of respiratory therapist turns himself in
Posted on January 1, 2012 at 2:28 PM
Updated Monday, Jan 2 at 9:52 AM
HOUSTON – The suspect in what police are calling the “brutal” murder of a 27-year-old respiratory therapist turned himself in Sunday afternoon after several hours on the run.
Stephen Noah Dawkins, 22, is now charged with capital murder.
Investigators said he had an on-again, off-again relationship with Altovise Mahone, 27, who was found dead Saturday inside her apartment in the 14900 block of South Richmond in west Houston.
“I couldn’t believe that it happened so close to my house and I didn’t hear anything,” said Alyssa Smith, a neighbor. “(Mahone was) a hard worker. She was always running downstairs in uniform.”
She was stunned to see police detectives scouring her west Houston apartment complex on New Year’s Eve. Relatives told investigators they’d last heard from Mahone Thursday night. When they checked on her Saturday around noon, they found her body.
Several items were stolen and her car was missing.
“It was a brutal attack,” said Sgt. Brian Harris with the Houston Police Department. “There didn’t seem to be any forced entry into her apartment.”
Mahone’s family declined to comment as they mourned.
Giselle Guzman, a friend who said she had studied with Mahone at Texas Southern University, said in an e-mail that Mahone was “a great person with a good sense of humor (who) didn’t deserve to die like this.”