Miami-Dade County

July 21, 2014

Police arrest Miami man in stabbing death of 11-year-old girl

A Miami man was charged with first-degree murder in the killing of his ex-girlfriend’s daughter, a case in which police said the man tried to make the incident seem like a suicide.

Miguel Ruiz Lobo, upset that his girlfriend broke up with him, sneaked into her home and stabbed her 11-year-old daughter to death last month. He then tried to make the stabbing look like it was a suicide, police said.

When Amaury Alvarenga returned to her Little Havana home, she found her daughter, Martha Guzman, in a pool of blood, with a knife sticking out from her throat.

“The daughter and him didn’t get along. She convinced her mother to dump him,” Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa said Monday.

Police said Lobo made a crucial mistake in his attempted coverup: In trying to make the death look like a suicide, he sliced through tendons in the girl’s wrists, making it impossible for her to be able to stab herself in the throat.

The child had a history of cutting herself in what her mother described as a cry for help.

Lobo, 42, was brought to police headquarters Monday and charged with first-degree murder and occupied burglary. Police said he refused to cooperate and asked for an attorney.

Police had Lobo on their radar since the June 25 death. They said they had a copy of video surveillance from a neighboring home that shows him entering and leaving between 10:28 and 11 a.m., the time the medical examiner believes Martha was killed.

Martha’s mother discovered the body when she returned home from the laundry at 3:28 p.m., police records show.

Fearing Lobo would try to make a run for his native Honduras, police denied he was a suspect at the time of the killing.

Police said they have matched DNA found in skin under Martha’s fingernails to Lobo, who — when first contacted by police — had cuts and scratches on his body.

“It shows she was fighting him off, but he was so big she wouldn’t have been able to,” Orosa said.

Lobo is six feet, four inches tall, and weighs at least 220 pounds. A records check with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement shows he was arrested in February for driving without a license. There were no other crimes listed.

Orosa said that Alvarenga had been adamant from the start that Lobo had killed her daughter. Shortly after the death, Alvarenga spoke of her daughter’s troubled history — she suffers from bouts of self-mutilation — but said the child would not have had the courage to commit suicide.

“I took her to the doctor and the doctor talked to her and she said she would never do it again,” she said of the cutting.

The family had a history with the state’s Department of Children & Families.

Public records also indicate Alvarenga was involved in a troubled relationship and that she made an attempt to keep herself and her daughter safe.

Alvarenga, who works at a school on Fisher Island, filed a petition on March 31 with Miami-Dade County Circuit Court to have a restraining order placed on Lobo.

In the filing, she said she was on her way to work and was waiting for the ferry to Fisher Island in late March when she spotted Lobo, who was intoxicated. She said that Lobo grabbed her shirt, but that she broke free and got on the ferry as security guards subdued him. Police were not called.

The motion before Acting Circuit Court Judge Judith Rubenstein was denied initially when she ruled “there is no appearance of an immediate and present danger of domestic violence.”

A hearing was set for April 14, when Alvarenga changed her tune and asked that the motion be dismissed. Her wish was granted.

Jorge Guzman, Martha’s father, said on Monday that he hopes Lobo pays for the death of his daughter with a harsh sentence.

“I feel a little better knowing he was arrested. I know this is not going to bring back my daughter,” Guzman said.

A week after Martha’s death, Guzman and Alvarenga brought her body back to Olanchito, Honduras, where both parents are from, and buried her.

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