Two Canadian tourists stabbed to death in Atlantic City, suspect in custody

The scene of fatal stabbings that occurred earlier in the day is seen in Atlantic City Monday, May 21, 2012 along Pacific Avenue between Michigan and Ohio Avenues.
AP Photo/The Press of Atlantic City, Ben Fogletto

(CBS/AP) ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. - Authorities say 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.

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, according to Sgt. Monica McMenamin, a city police spokeswoman. 

The two women had been walking in an area where most of the city's casinos have their entrance ways and parking garages, authorities said. Witnesses told police that Pelzer had tried to steal a purse from one of the women and then stabbed them.

A police officer on patrol intervened when he spotted the attack, subduing Pelzer at gunpoint. The two women died at a hospital a half-block from the scene.

Pelzer was initially arrested on charges including aggravated assault and robbery, but authorities planned to update charges based on the deaths of the stabbing victims.

Identification of the two women was being delayed pending notification of their relatives. Both were stabbed multiple times in the upper body and died a short time later at a hospital.

Pelzer had been living in an Ohio shelter until December, when her mother brought her back to Philadelphia, said Pelzer's aunt Nadine King, also of Philadelphia.

Pelzer has long suffered from schizophrenia and had been homeless since January, said King, who said she had seen her niece out "begging for money." She did not know how long she had been in Atlantic City.

Pelzer was being held at the Atlantic County Jail. She was due for an initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

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