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Neighbors react after Florida woman arrested for allegedly stabbing husband more than 140 times

WPTV Joan Burke street
Posted at 12:02 PM, Feb 22, 2022

PALM SPRINGS, Fla. — Authorities in Florida say a Palm Springs man is dead after allegedly stabbed more than 140 times by his wife.

According to a police report, 41-year-old Ricardo Green called 911 on the evening of Feb. 11 to say that he came home from work and found his stepfather, 62-year-old Melvin Weller, dead on the kitchen floor.

When police arrived at the couple's home, they found the victim on the floor in a pool of blood.

Now a Palm Springs woman is behind bars on a murder charge after she bludgeoned her husband to death with a meat cleaver, police said.

Investigators identified the woman as 61-year-old Joan Burke.

It happened earlier this month at their house in a quiet neighborhood along Anna Lane in Palm Springs.

"I was in my kitchen, and I see the flashing red lights of, like, firefighters and stuff like that," neighbor Isabella Jaramillo said.

No one appeared to be at home Monday morning, but pieces of caution tape and evidence markings were left on the front door.

"It’s crazy to think that somebody could do that to somebody else, and we don't know anything about it," Jaramillo said.

Officers also described bloodstains on the wall, cabinets, countertops, and knives in the sink.

A medical examiner later determined the victim was stabbed more than 140 times.

He also suffered a fractured skull following a brutal blow to the head. Neighbors are shocked and are still trying to grip with the disturbing details.

"He was always pretty friendly if he passed by, and if me and my dad were outside, he would just wave to us, and that's it," Jaramillo said. "He was pretty friendly, though."

Police said they found Burke awake lying in bed. She refused to speak and was taken to a hospital for an evaluation. Investigators said she also suffered several cuts to her hands from stabbing the victim repeatedly.

Detectives are still working to determine a motive. Burke remains in jail without bond.

Kamrel Eppinger at WPTV first reported this story.