A Texas truck driver allegedly broke into the home of a woman who hosted a podcast to which he listened and killed her as well as her husband before dying by suicide in what authorities are describing as a stalking case.
Authorities identified the victims as 33-year-old podcaster Zohreh Sadeghi and her husband Mohammed Naseri, 35, according to the Daily Beast. The suspect, meanwhile, is Ramin Khodakaramrezaei, a 38-year-old trucker.
Police said that they found the bodies of Sadeghi, Naseri and Khodakaramrezaei after officers investigated a call reporting shots fired within a home in Redmond, Washington, about 15 miles east of Seattle. Sadeghi’s mother had been in her daughter’s home at the time of the intrusion by Khodakaramrezaei and had managed to flee to a neighbor’s home, where she called the police, according to investigators.
First responders pulled Naseri out of the home and performed CPR on him but were unable to resuscitate him, Redmond police said in a statement. Meanwhile, they pronounced Sadeghi and Khodakaramrezaei dead.
In an interview with the Daily Beast, Redmond’s police chief, Darrell Lowe, said Khodakaramrezaei initially became familiar with Sadeghi after he listened to a podcast which she was “affiliated with” that was about “gaining employment in the tech industry”.
Khodakaramrezaei corresponded with Sadeghi after listening to the podcast before “things escalated” and she obtained a court order prohibiting him from contacting her, the police statement said.
Sadeghi had grown concerned with the content and frequency of Khodakaramrezaei’s messages. According to Lowe, Khodakaramrezaei once called her more than 100 times in a day.
Khodakaramrezaei’s obsession with Sadeghi soon escalated into physical stalking, the Daily Beast reported – at one point in 2022, he followed her to a conference in Denver, Colorado.
“Redmond officers and detectives were familiar with the victim and residence because of the ongoing stalking investigation,” police said.
According to Lowe, the no-contact order which Sadeghi obtained did not result in any material protection for her, the Daily Beast reported. The order had not yet been served on Khodakaramrezaei when Sadeghi and her husband were killed.
“I think the key piece here is that a protection order is simply a piece of paper that does not prevent a person from causing harm to another person,” Lowe told the outlet.
Lowe mourned the loss of the couple, saying, “Our hearts go out to the victim’s family and the Redmond community following this horrific tragedy. This is an incredibly sad situation and the worst possible outcome of a stalking case. We will continue investigating what led to this tragic loss.”
The Stalking, Prevention, Awareness and Resource Center estimates that about 13.5 million people in the US are subject to stalking, often leaving them in fear of being killed or physically injured. According to the FBI, females are stalked more than twice as often as males.
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