A 30-year-old Burlington man being held for the attempted murder of his wife reportedly told police in Sunnyside that he killed his wife because he believed she cheated on him.

She was not actually dead at the time, but was left for dead in the woods along Nulle Road on Friday.

Two bicyclists found the 20-year-old woman crawling out of the woods, bleeding profusely from an “ear to ear” slice across her neck, according to the affidavit.

Hector Garcia-Pelayo is being held on a 30-day magistrate’s warrant for investigation of second-degree attempted murder, meaning prosecutors have 30 days instead of the standard three to file formal charges.

He’s being held in Skagit County Jail on $750,000 bail.

The day before the incident, the woman packed her belongings and went to her brother and sister-in-law’s house in Bellingham with her two children, ages 2 and 5, incident reports say. She intended to stay there because of marital problems.

The next morning, Garcia-Pelayo arrived at the residence to pick up his wife and children and go shopping, he told his sister-in-law. He said his wife and children would return later in the day.

The woman’s brother called Garcia-Pelayo repeatedly later in the afternoon after the couple did not return. During the first call, Garcia-Pelayo said the couple was “on their honeymoon,” according to the affidavit. He didn’t answer the other calls.

Later, the woman’s brother received a call from Garcia-Pelayo’s brother in Mexico, who said Garcia-Pelayo was going to kill his wife.

The woman’s brother and sister-in-law broke into the couple’s Burlington home on East Fairhaven Avenue and found the woman’s purse with her credit card and identification laid out, reports say.

A note in Garcia-Pelayo’s handwriting said the woman cheated on him and her girlfriend had covered for her, according to the detective’s report.

At 12:23 p.m. that afternoon, the bicyclists reported finding the woman bleeding along Nulle Road between Summerland Drive and Nulle Woods Court near the Whatcom-Skagit county line.

Responding officers found a trail of blood from south of Nulle Road to about 40 yards into the woods, where they saw two large blood stains, according to the affidavit.

The woman was taken to St. Joseph Hospital in Bellingham and underwent surgery. She’s expected to survive her injuries. She was largely unable to communicate with investigators, but identified the suspect as her husband and indicated she was afraid of being killed.

The affidavit says she was in critical but stable condition. However, the hospital has since stopped releasing information on her condition.

At 1:18 a.m. Saturday, Skagit 911 received a State Patrol report of Garcia-Pelayo telling Sunnyside police he had killed his wife, investigative reports say. He admitted to cutting her throat and leaving her in the woods, indicating on a map where he did it, according to the report.

He said he threw a kitchen knife in some bushes at the scene and that the children were in the back seat of the couple’s pickup truck nearby when the incident occurred, according to the affidavit.

After he left his wife in the woods, he dropped his children off at a relative’s house near Yakima.


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