Mesa police: Arrest made in woman's murder - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

UPDATE

Mesa police: Arrest made in woman's murder

Posted: Updated:
Crime scene near 2nd Ave. and Pomeroy in Mesa. (Source: KPHO-TV) Crime scene near 2nd Ave. and Pomeroy in Mesa. (Source: KPHO-TV)
Travis Lafel Zah (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Travis Lafel Zah (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Jean Banks (Source: KPHO-TV) Jean Banks (Source: KPHO-TV)
Lawrence Gallegos (Source: KPHO-TV) Lawrence Gallegos (Source: KPHO-TV)
  • NEWSMore>>

  • When disciplining a child goes too far

    When disciplining a child goes too far

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:57 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:57:10 GMT
    Pending child abuse charges against star Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson has brought spanking back under public scrutiny after photos of his bruised child surfaced. News Leader 9's Brittany
    More >>
    Pending child abuse charges against star Minnesota Viking running back Adrian Peterson has brought spanking back under public scrutiny after photos of his bruised child surfaced. News Leader 9's Brittany Dionne spoke with local experts to find out when spanking becomes abuse. More >>
  • Opelika veteran receives Medal of Honor

    Opelika veteran receives Medal of Honor

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:47 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:47:05 GMT
    On Monday afternoon, a local veteran received an important military honor. President Obama  awarded retired Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie Adkins in Opelika with the Medal of Honor at the White
    More >>
    On Monday afternoon, a local veteran received an important military honor. President Obama  awarded retired Army Command Sergeant Major Bennie Adkins in Opelika with the Medal of Honor at the White House.
    More >>
  • Improving the White Water Classic

    Improving the White Water Classic

    Monday, September 15 2014 10:35 PM EDT2014-09-16 02:35:07 GMT
    Now that Tuskeegee and Albany State have faced off in the first ever White Water Classic football game, Phenix City leaders evaluate the weekend's events and discuss ways to improve it in the future. NewsMore >>
    Now that Tuskeegee and Albany State have faced off in the first ever White Water Classic football game, Phenix City leaders evaluate the weekend's events and discuss ways to improve it in the future. News Leader 9's Tyrone McCoy has some of those ideas.More >>
MESA, AZ (CBS5) -

Mesa police say they've arrested the suspect in the brutal death of a woman believed to be in her early 20s.

Mesa police said Travis Lafel Zah, 35, has been booked on one count of second-degree murder.

"You can't prepare yourself for stuff like that," said Lawrence Gallegos as he reflected on what he saw.

Gallegos said he walked out of his house to a horrific scene - a man savagely beating a young woman in a field across the street.

It happened just after 10 a.m. Thursday in a residential neighborhood near Second Avenue and Pomeroy.

"He was on top of her, pretty much just strangling her and hitting her head towards the ground," Gallegos said.

He told CBS 5 News he yelled for the man to stop and warned him he had called the police.

At that point, Gallegos said the woman escaped - stumbling across the street to his neighbor's lawn where she collapsed.

"I noticed she had a gash in her throat," he said. "And I pretty much just tried to cover the hole."

While Gallegos applied pressure to the wound, his neighbor Jean Banks, a retired nurse, performed CPR.

During that time, she said the suspect stood in the street watching them.

"He was too busy talking to somebody on the phone saying that, 'She did it, she did it herself, she did it herself,'" Banks said.

Sadly, the valiant efforts to save the woman's life failed.

"It's hurtful," Gallegos said. "It's hard to see a grown man, my size, beat on a smaller female."

Banks said it looked like the woman had been stabbed.

But police aren't confirming how she died.

Meanwhile, detectives took several bags found in a nearby field into evidence.

Police confirmed they recovered a knife but didn't say whether it's linked to the victim's death.

Police are withholding the identity of the victim until her family has been notified.

Police said Zah and the victim knew each other but did not elaborate.

Stay with cbs5az.com for updates on this developing story.

Copyright 2013 CBS 5 (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.

Powered by WorldNow

1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, Ga. 31906

FCC Public File
publicfile@wtvm.com
706-494-5400
EEO Report
Closed Captioning

All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and WTVM. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.