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MAN, 37, SOUGHT IN RIVERSIDE SLAYINGS WIFE, FRIEND KNIFED AS SON, 10, RUNS FOR HELP

Police are searching for a 37-year-old man who allegedly stabbed his wife and her male friend to death on Crowley Avenue in the city's Riverside section.

Anthony Medina is the subject of the police search, said Homicide Bureau Chief Joseph Riga.

Medina was described by police as white, 6-feet-1, with a slim build, dark hair and dark mustache. He was believed to have been driving a 1998 red or burgundy Oldsmobile 88, which he apparently used to flee the scene shortly before noon Monday.

"It appears to be a domestic homicide," Riga said.

The victims were identified as Joanne Medina, 35, of the Crowley address, and Stephen Haines, 35, of Arcade. Riga identified Haines as a friend of Mrs. Medina's.

A 10-year-old boy, the son of the Medinas, ran to a neighbor's home to ask for help shortly after the fatal attack began.

Officers responding to an 11:55 a.m. call at 120 Crowley found the woman's body in the driveway of the 2 1/2 -story frame house. Haines' body man was found in a second-floor apartment.

Detectives immediately issued a pickup order for Medina, who formerly lived on Crowley and still could be in the area.

Initial investigation indicated that the man had been stabbed first and that the woman was then stabbed inside the apartment before she staggered outside, with her attacker in pursuit.

Neighbors on Crowley watched from their porches as police cordoned off the area with yellow tape.

Lettie Rivera said the son of the woman came to her apartment just before noon Monday.

"He just banged on my door. He said, 'My mom's been stabbed. Tony stabbed my mom,' " Ms. Rivera recalled. "He was scared. He was shaking."

Officers later took custody of the child.

Sherilyn Ruggiero recalled that only two nights earlier, the woman
showed up at her door terrified and pleading for assistance.

"She came to my house. . . . It was late, about 2 o'clock in the morning. She was screaming, 'Let me in! Let me in! Call the police!' " Ms. Ruggiero said.

Matthew Pattison, Ms. Ruggiero's fiance, said he called police.

"Then I went outside, and I heard the guy yelling, and he drove off in a car," Pattison said.

Ms. Ruggiero said, "That was the first time she was ever in my house. They pretty much kept to themselves, like everybody on this block. I can't believe something like this happened on my street."

Neighbors said the Medinas had moved into the apartment at 120 Crowley about six months ago.

Hector Ayala said his children occasionally played with the young son of the female victim. Ayala said he was taking a shower Monday when he heard the boy pleading with a neighbor for help.

Ayala said that he had not known the couple well but that he had spoken briefly with the suspect once or twice. "He helped me out, giving me a boost to my car once or twice," Ayala said. "He looked like he was nice guy."

Staff Reporters Janice L. Habuda and Carl Allen contributed to this article.

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