Southern California dad accused of throwing young daughter off cliff, killing her after stabbing attack


A Riverside County Sheriff’s Department vehicle is seen in an undated photo shared by the agency.

PALM DESERT, Calif. (KTLA) – A man is set to be arrested on suspicion of homicide after he allegedly threw his young daughter into a ravine following a pair of stabbings and a rollover crash near Palm Desert in Southern California, authorities said Thursday.

The incident began around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday when deputies were called out to a reported stabbing in a parking lot located in Indian Wells, according to a news release from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Responding deputies found an injured woman with multiple unspecified injuries sustained during a domestic violence incident, authorities said. She was taken to a hospital in stable condition.

The suspect was identified as 49-year-old Adam Slater of Palm Desert, according to the release. Deputies broadcast a description of him and his vehicle as they sought to locate him.

Around 9 a.m., the California Highway Patrol was dispatched to a crash off a stretch of Highway 74 south of Vista Point, about 5 miles from Palm Desert. The vehicle had gone off the highway and overturned several hundred feet away from the road.

The car’s description was similar to that of Slater’s, sheriff’s officials said.

Bystanders went to help the occupants in the overturned vehicle, but witnesses told deputies the driver exited and stabbed someone who had removed the small child from the passenger side, according to the release.

“The suspect then took the girl from the arms of the male he stabbed. Multiple witnesses saw the suspect take the child and throw her over a steep cliff into a ravine,” the release read. “The suspect then fled on foot into the canyon.”

Bystanders directed deputies to the man’s location, and Slater was detained a short time later after a brief foot pursuit, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

The child was found dead. Her name and age have not been released, but authorities identified her as Slater’s daughter.

Slater was transported to a hospital for injuries from the crash. He will be arrested and booked on suspicion of murder once he’s released, according to the department.

The bystander who tried to help the little girl was able to seek medical treatment on his own.

An investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call sheriff’s Investigator Munoz with the Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777 or submit a tip through the Sheriff’s Homicide Tipline online form.

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