2 Dead In Apparent Murder-Suicide Stabbing In Deltona
Date Added: October 17, 2022 9:40 pm
Office of Public Affairs & Media Relations
2 DEAD IN APPARENT MURDER-SUICIDE STABBING IN DELTONA
Volusia sheriff's detectives are investigating a fatal stabbing in Deltona that appears to have been a domestic murder-suicide.
Deputies responded to a call around 6:17 p.m. reporting the stabbing at 2742 Gramercy Drive. Upon arrival, they found a man and woman in the house unresponsive.
The information gathered at this early stage of the investigation suggests the man stabbed the woman, and then himself.
She was pronounced deceased on scene while the male subject was pronounced deceased at the hospital about an hour later.
Three children at the house were not injured.
The Sheriff's Office investigation is active and ongoing and we just ask for your patience while detectives continue their work. On behalf of Sheriff Chitwood and the entire agency, the surviving children have our thoughts, prayers and commitment to provide a thorough investigation and access to all the resources they will need.
The identities of the deceased are:
- Byanca Cruz Tovar, 26 (DOB 8/16/1996), homicide victim.
- Oscar Mercado Salazar, 31 (DOB 4/12/1991), also known as Albertico Garza, perpetrator, died by suicide.
The 911 audio is available for download at the following link: 10172022.stabbing_Redacted.mp3
During the investigation, the 10-year-old son of Byanca Cruz advised detectives that he witnessed Mercado, his stepfather, stab his mother following an argument. The boy indicated Mercado tried to stab him, too, but was unsuccessful.
The boy ran to a neighbor’s house for help. The neighbor responded and found both Cruz and Mercado unresponsive in their home with apparent sharp force injuries. As reported in last night’s news release, Cruz was pronounced deceased on scene while Mercado was transported to the hospital with a faint pulse, then pronounced deceased about an hour later.
Additional interviews are scheduled today as the investigation continues. The initial investigation indicates Cruz and Mercado were arguing over Mercado’s discipline of one of the children when Mercado attacked Cruz with a knife.
The family had been living at 2742 Gramercy Drive for about 5 months, and there were no prior law enforcement calls there during that timeframe. During this investigation, detectives learned arguments were overheard from the house on more than one occasion, but none of them resulted in any calls or reports to law enforcement.
Mercado was previously charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant victim in Orlando in 2016. The victim in that case was also Cruz.
Regarding Mercado’s two listed identities, please note that he was using the name Albertico Garza for several years. That was determined to be a stolen identity he assumed after arriving in the U.S. from Mexico. Using birth certificate records and interviews with family members, detectives determined his true identity was Oscar Mercado. The victim, Byanca Cruz, was a legal U.S. resident alien.
The Sheriff’s Office continues to work with partner agencies to ensure the children and family members have access to all available resources.
For others experiencing domestic violence: In Volusia County, the Beacon Center provides a 24-hour domestic violence hotline at 386-255-2102. Services include emergency shelter, financial independence training and programs for children. Visit www.mybeaconcenter.com for more information.
Florida’s statewide, 24/7 domestic violence hotline is 800-500-1119.
The National Domestic Violence Hotline is also available 24/7 in all languages at 800-799-SAFE (7233). You can also text “START” to 88788 or visit www.thehotline.org.