A United States citizen was arrested in Tijuana on Wednesday night for allegedly killing a 19-year-old employee of the Adelita’s night club on Coahuila street in the city’s Zona Norte.
Tijuana police arrested the suspect, identified as Logan Matthew Kelley, 26, at the crime scene after he was detained by security guards at the bar.
Kelley, who Tijuana police said is originally from Ohio, is accused of walking up behind the victim and fatally slicing her neck with a knife that was recovered by police from the scene.
A State Department official said the agency was aware of the case.
“When a U.S. citizen is detained abroad, the State Department provides all appropriate consular assistance. Due to privacy considerations, we do not have any information to share publicly at this time,” the official said.
The Red Cross and other emergency personnel were called to the bar at around 9 p.m. Wednesday night for an emergency report of a woman injured with a sharp object. When emergency personnel and police arrived, they found the woman with a fatal neck injury and declared her dead at the crime scene.
Police identified the victim as 19-year-old Isis Atalia Montoya Romero and said she was employed at the strip club and bar. Adelita Bar describes itself as the “most traditional and famous men’s club in Tijuana in operation since 1962.”
Witnesses told Spanish-language media that the victim was talking with another man inside the hallway of a motel adjacent to the bar when the suspect came up behind her and slit her throat with what appeared to be a four to six-inch folding knife.
The clip-point blade had some type of seal and an image of an assault rifle etched onto the handle, according to images of the murder weapon released by police at the scene.
The homicide was the 223rd so far in 2021 in Tijuana, the border city just south of San Diego.
Multiple Spanish-language media outlets reported that Tijuana police identified the man as a United States Marine, however, a spokesman for the United States Marine Corps media operations chief said there is no record of the man ever serving in the Marine Corps.
Prosecutors with Baja California’s Fiscalia or state prosecutor’s office shuttered the business on Thursday to protect the crime scene. A red closure sign was visible across the front doors of the establishment on Friday.
Strip clubs, nightclubs and bars that do not serve food are not supposed to be open in Tijuana amid current coronavirus restrictions, but apparently the business was operating anyway, city leaders said. A city official said the matter was being investigated on Friday.
In a graphic video circulated on social networks, Kelley appears to be wearing a coronavirus mask as he walks behind Montoya and puts his arm around her neck, stabs her, and then throws her to the floor. Kelley then runs away with a security guard chasing behind him while the victim appears to be struggling on the floor.