A San Jose man suspected of fatally stabbing another man before fleeing the area is currently in a Santa Barbara County hospital. Police said the suspect either fell or jumped off a highway overpass.
Andrew Mark Rachal, 51, is suspected of stabbing a man of the same age around 2:50 p.m. Tuesday at a home in the 1700 block of Kyra Circle, according to police. The victim, whose name is not yet being released, suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken to Regional Medical Center of San Jose, where he succumbed to his injuries at about 11:50 p.m. Thursday. His death marks the 21st homicide victim in San Jose this year. There were 20 homicides in all of 2010.
After the stabbing, witnesses reported seeing Rachal flee in a white 2005 GMC pickup truck before officers arrived. Investigators were able to identify him, along with his vehicle and license plate number, which they entered into a national “Wanted Persons” database.
On Wednesday afternoon, Rachal fell or jumped from an overpass onto U.S. Highway 101 in Carpinteria. He was taken to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, where he remains with undisclosed injuries, police said.
Santa Barbara County sheriff’s deputies located Rachal’s pickup truck and after checking his license plate, found that he was wanted for the stabbing in San Jose.
The deputies arrested Rachal, and once his condition improves, San Jose investigators will coordinate his transfer to the Santa Clara County Jail.
Investigators believe Rachal and the victim knew each other, but the motive for the killing has not yet been determined.
The death marks the city’s 19th of the year. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call Detective Sgt. Dave Gutierrez or Detective Brian Spears at (408) 277-5283. Those who wish to remain anonymous may call the Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at (408) 947-STOP (7867) or visit www.svcrimestoppers.org.