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Cab driver wanted for questioning in homicide investigation located

Valerie Cavazos, Taylor Higgins, Ina Ronquillo

Photo: Video by kgun9.com

Cab driver wanted for questioning in homicide investigation located

CREATED Jan. 1, 2014 - UPDATED: Jan. 2, 2014

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The "Yellow Cab" and the cab driver from the deadly incident on early New Year's Day has been located by authorities.

Earlier today, Tucson Police have identified the two victims as 47-year-old Cindy Burnett and 32-year-old Patrick Balbastro.

Police also tell us that Burnett was being beaten by someone when Balbastro noticed the altercation and stepped in to help.

Celebration turned to when a New Year's Eve party was cut short by brutal murders. Burnett and Balbastro died and a 43-year-old woman clings to life after a driver hit all three of them with his car in the 2200 block of East Sunland Vista -- a neighborhood known as The Vistas.

It's an area that has seen its share of violence, but some neighbors said, they haven't seen anything like this.

Caroline Collins lives several doors down and described what she saw at 1 in the morning. "They were partying, partying hard. And I felt, oh my goodness, something is going to happen. You just know, when there are parties that big," she said.

Three hours later, something deadly happened. Tucson police say a cab dropped off an abusive man and an extremely drunk woman. A short time later, another man and his girlfriend witnessed the abusive man beating the drunk woman. The man, being a good samaritan intervened and tried to help the woman. 

Then, the abusive man got in the good samaritan's car and proceeded to run over the good samaritan, his girlfriend and the drunk woman.

Sgt. Chris Widmer said, "The suspect then left the scene and immediately came back."

Julia Gaxiola witnessed the horror when the driver repeatedly ran over his injured victims. "I see two people when he passed three times and he pushed the body with his car. And I said Oh my god," she said.

The man drove to the end of Sunland Vista -- about a quarter of a mile. He plowed through a fence -- hit a tree -- and then took off on foot.

The murders came as no surprise to nearby neighbor Francis Jones. "I've woken up before with police tape around my house with something that's gone down a couple of doors down," she said.

Make shift memorials the sidewalks in The Vistas neighborhood. The murders - a shock to Leo Flemming who recently moved from New Jersey. "It surprises me, yeah, I just moved my kids into this neighborhood."

Police detained a man for questioning, but said he was not a suspect.

If you have any information, regarding this incident, you are asked to call 911 or 88-CRIME.

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