San Diego

Police Identify Suspect in Slaying of Woman Found Dumped in Encanto Canyon

Napolean Joel Lange, 23, is accused in the killing of Lavaughn Rawshanda Nicole Williams, 29, whose body was found in a ravine near South 66th Street on Jan. 13

Police have identified a San Diego man as the suspect in the deadly stabbing of a woman whose body was found dumped in a canyon in Encanto over the weekend.

According to investigators, the suspect – Napoleon Joel Lange, 23 – and the victim, Lavaughn Rawshanda Nicole Williams, 29, were “acquainted,” though the status of their relationship remains unclear.

Williams’ body was discovered on the afternoon of Jan. 13 about 10 to 12 feet down a ravine in a residential area near South 66th Street and Skyline Drive. The San Diego Police Department (SDPD) said a father and daughter, out walking their dog, spotted the body and called the police.

SDPD Lt. Todd Griffin said officers working at a recruiting event at the nearby Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park rushed to the scene. Williams’ body was in a precarious position – on the slope of the ravine – so the investigation into her death was, at first, complicated. Unable to reach her, the officers could not immediately figure out what had happened to the woman.

There was a "significant amount of blood" covering the woman's body, Griffin said.

Homicide detectives took over the investigation. Once the San Diego County Medical Examiner arrived, officials were able to recover Williams’ body and more closely examine her.

Griffin said investigators found she had been stabbed in the torso and had died from those wounds. She may have been in the ravine for several days before being discovered, detectives said.

The SDPD said Lange was arrested Monday in connection with Williams’ killing. He’s being held without bail at San Diego Central Jail on several counts, including first-degree murder. Lange is scheduled to appear in court Thursday.

The investigation into the homicide is ongoing. Anyone with information on this case can call the SDPD’s Homicide Unit at (619) 531-2293 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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