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Sister-in-law held in stabbing death of woman who was nine months pregnant

Updated Thursday, Oct. 17, 2013 | 10:30 p.m.

Fatal attack

The 5-year-old boy knocked on his neighbor’s doorstep Wednesday evening with bloody arms and a chilling message.

“My mom is bleeding,” he reportedly told Stephanie Vasquez, who brought the child inside and rushed next door to investigate. Before Vasquez could enter, police arrived and discovered a grisly scene.

The child’s pregnant mother, Ashley Indico, was lying dead inside their home in the 2800 block of North Rancho Drive. She was nine months pregnant, according to an arrest report released Thursday afternoon, and was to give birth Oct. 26.

Elinor Indico, her sister-in-law and suspected killer, had called 911 after apparently barricading herself and the boy’s 3-year-old sister inside a bathroom. The woman had been living with her brother and his family for about a month, and relatives told police that she had been fighting with Ashley Indico because the family wanted their guest out by the end of the week.

The suspect told police she was attacked by Ashley Indico and only fought back in self-defense, but detectives dismissed that claim after conversations with witnesses.

Elinor Indico, 30, was charged on Thursday with one count of open murder and one count of voluntary manslaughter in connection with the death of her sister-in-law and her unborn child. She was booked on the charges at University Medical Center, where she is being treated for minor stab wounds of her own.

The suspect’s brother, Aristeo Indico, told police he had not interacted much with Elinor Indico in the past few years, but she reached out for help last month because she was losing her home in Granada Hills, Calif.

Aristeo Indico allowed her to stay in his home on the condition that she stop using drugs and start working, he reportedly told police. But Elinor Indico eventually lost her job and apparently began using drugs again, so her brother told her she would have to move out by Oct. 18.

Tension gradually rose between her and the family, Aristeo Indico told police, noting that his sister owned a Chinese fighting knife with 4-inch blades on both ends that she might have used to stab his wife. Police discovered a weapon matching the description between the victim’s legs.

Aristeo Indico also told police that both he and his sister were trained in martial arts.

Vasquez, the family’s next-door neighbor, told police that she had spoken with Ashley Indico about 20 minutes before the stabbing occurred. Ashley Indico had expressed frustration over her sister-in-law and said she was “praying Elinor would move out tonight and not wait until Friday,” Vasquez told police.

After the 5-year-old boy knocked on her door, Vasquez said she ran to Ashley Indico’s apartment and tried to open her unlocked door. She couldn’t get in because Elinor Indico blocked it and told her to “get the (expletive) out of here,” according to the report.

Vasquez told police she heard Elinor Indico yelling aggressively before moaning in ecstasy.

Blood covered the entrance of the home when Elinor Indico finally opened the door for police. Wearing a floral pattern blouse with shorts, she showed officers two stab wounds on her stomach and retreated back into a bathroom to sit next to her 3-year-old niece.

Elinor Indico allegedly lied to police initially, saying that it was the family, not she, that was moving out of the home. She told police her sister-in-law had stabbed her because she would not give Ashley Indico any money.

In a follow-up interview late Wednesday, the suspect reportedly told police that the victim had gone “stab crazy,” the report says.

Detectives said she broke down crying and was unable to continue their conversation when they told her Ashley Indico had died.

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