A Pennsylvania woman fatally stabbed two Canadian tourists, one of them an 80-year-old woman, during a botched robbery Monday in what apparently was a chance meeting on an Atlantic City street, authorities said.
Sgt. Monica McMenamin, a city police spokeswoman, said Antoinette E. Pelzer, 44, of Philadelphia, was arrested around 10 a.m., just moments after the robbery occurred in the southern New Jersey resort community. Authorities said she may have recently moved to the Atlantic City area, but that remained unclear late Monday night.
Pelzer initially was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and weapons offenses. But Atlantic County Prosecutor Ted Housel said she would likely face more serious charges following the victims' deaths.
Pelzer remained jailed without bail Monday night, and it was not known if she had retained a lawyer.
Housel said city police officer Jacob Abbruscato _ who happened to be patrolling in the area _ witnessed the robbery and stabbing, which occurred in an area where most casinos have their entrance ways and parking garages. Abbruscato quickly subdued Pelzer at gunpoint.
A motive for the robbery or why Pelzer stabbed the women was not immediately known, and both police and Housel declined further comment.
Authorities identified the victims only as women ages 47 and 80 and declined to give their hometowns or provinces. Both were both stabbed multiple times in the upper body and died a short time later at a hospital.
Investigators were working Monday night to determine how long the victims had been in the Atlantic City area and where they had been staying.