A Canadian senior citizen trying to help as her daughter was stabbed by a stranger in Atlantic City was attacked as well, prosecutors say, leaving both of the tourists dead.
New details released Wednesday paint a picture of a savage attack in one of the tourist areas of the gambling destination city.
Scarborough residents Po Lin Wan, 80, and Alice Mei See Leung, 47, were stabbed repeatedly with a 30-centimetre butcher knife, according to the Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office.
Antoinette Pelzer, who was described by her mother as mentally ill, was being held in custody. Her bail was set at $1.5-million.
Police believe it was a random attack. The younger woman appears to have been stabbed first and the older woman attacked as she tried to help her daughter.
"Ms. Leung was stabbed in her upper body and died of multiple sharp force injuries with cardiac puncture," the prosecutor's office said in a statement.
"Ms. Wan was stabbed in her lower body, hand and shoulder while coming to the assistance of Ms. Leung. Ms. Wan died of multiple sharp force injuries with exsanguination."
Both deaths have been classified as homicides.
The two were killed Monday. Delays reaching next of kin preventing their names being released before late Wednesday morning.
Sergeant Monica McMenamin, a city police spokeswoman, said Ms. Pelzer, 44, was arrested around 10 a.m. Monday. She was nabbed immediately by a police officer who happened to be in the area, where most casinos have their entrance ways and parking garages.
Ms. Pelzer's mother, Gladys Pelzer, said that her daughter suffered from schizophrenia and may not have been taking her medication.
Gladys Pelzer, who could not be reached to elaborate, said she had tried to help her daughter, including sheltering her. "But every time I get things set up, she runs," she told ABC.
Mr. Housel said a city police officer Jacob Abbruscato, who happened to be patrolling in the area, witnessed the robbery and stabbing. He quickly subdued Ms. Pelzer at gunpoint.