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A 29-year-old Chattanooga man told police he stabbed his wife to death after he overheard her talking to another man on her cell phone, according to court records.

Police say Zacarias Salas-Rufino confessed to stabbing his wife, Yessica Ruiz, during a fight about the phone call at their home on Navajo Drive on Sept. 26. Ruiz, 29, died from her injuries on Oct. 1.

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Zacarias Salas-Rufino

Salas-Rufino told police that he overheard his wife talking to another man, so he went to confront her. On his way to the front room, he grabbed a knife from the kitchen. He said he planned to use the knife to scare Ruiz into giving him her cell phone, according to court records.

However, he said Ruiz struggled with him and during the struggle he stabbed her four times. His wife was stabbed in the chest, neck, arms, legs and back, and was lying in a pool of blood when police arrived at the home around 7 a.m., records show.

She was taken to a local hospital and underwent emergency surgery.

Salas-Rufino was also bleeding from his leg when investigators arrived after the attack, and told police he fell and cut his knee as he was trying to get away from his wife.

He initially gave investigators a false identity. He is charged with criminal homicide and criminal impersonation, and is being held in the Hamilton County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

Ruiz was the 28th person to be killed in Chattanooga during 2016. She was the 10th woman to be killed in Chattanooga during 2016, a year that has seen more women killed in the city than any other year since at least 2011.

Although Ruiz was killed in a domestic incident, many of the women killed this year have been victims of gang violence, according to police.

There have been 29 homicides in the city so far this year. A 25-year-old woman was shot to death on Wednesday outside a home on Seventh Avenue.

Contact staff writer Shelly Bradbury at 423-757-6525 orsbradbury@timesfreepress.com with tips or story ideas. Follow @ShellyBradbury. 

 

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