Palm Desert man threw daughter off a cliff, stabbed good Samaritan trying to help, sheriff says
A Palm Desert man crashed his car Wednesday morning, stabbed a good Samaritan who tried to free his daughter from the wreck and then flung the girl off a cliff, killing her, according to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
Adam Slater, who is recovering at a hospital, will be arrested and booked on suspicion of murder once he is discharged, the Sheriff’s Department said. On Thursday, the department laid out the chain of events that culminated in his daughter’s death.
At 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, deputies from the Palm Desert Sheriff’s Station responded to a stabbing in the parking lot of a church in Indian Wells. There, they found an injured woman and identified her assailant as Slater, 49, the department said in a news release.
A spokeswoman for the Sheriff’s Department declined to specify the woman’s relationship to Slater, but said she suffered her injuries in a domestic violence incident.
Her father, Michael Grome, said she was married to Slater but had moved out a month ago, fearing for her safety. From time to time, she would meet Slater — always in public — so he could see their daughter, who celebrated her first birthday in April, Grome said.
On Wednesday morning, Grome said his daughter told him, Slater climbed into her car in the church’s parking lot and said, “You’re dying today. We’re all dying today.”
He punched her and plunged a knife into her thighs and chin, Grome said. When a witness spotted the assault and started honking, Slater pulled his daughter from her car seat and took off, Grome said. Deputies radioed out a description of Slater and the car he fled in, the Sheriff’s Department said.
About 30 minutes later, the California Highway Patrol reported a collision off Highway 74, south of the Coachella Valley Vista Point lookout. Slater’s car was overturned and several hundred feet off the highway, according to the Sheriff’s Department.
Good Samaritans came to his aid. One was trying to extricate his daughter from the passenger side when Slater ran around the car, stabbed the man and pulled the girl from his arms, according to the Sheriff’s Department. He flung the girl off “a steep cliff” and into a ravine, the department said.
Slater ran off but was quickly apprehended, the Sheriff’s Department said. Deputies and a CHP officer found his daughter in the ravine, dead.
“I held her in my arms the day before,” the girl’s grandfather said Thursday. “She was just taking her first steps.”
His daughter was discharged from the hospital on Thursday, shaken and sore but recovering, Grome said. She is six months pregnant with Slater’s child, he said.
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