Palm Desert man arrested after stabbing in Indian Wells, death of 1-year-old on Highway 74

A 49-year-old Palm Desert man was arrested on Wednesday following an assault in Indian Wells and, a short time later, a crash on Highway 74 in which a 1-year-old was found dead, with witnesses saying her own father threw her over a steep cliff.

Police were called to Southwest Church in Indian Wells about 8:30 am for a report of an assault. According to the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, deputies arrived to find a woman in the parking lot of of the church with multiple injuries. She was hospitalized and is in stable condition.  Police learned the suspect had fled with a small child.

About 30 minutes later, CHP dispatch received a report of a collision off Highway 74 south of Vista Point involving a vehicle fitting the description of the suspect vehicle in the stabbing in Indian Wells.

Witnesses went to the aid of the occupants of the overturned vehicle, which was several hundred feet from the roadway. They told police that the driver ran to the passenger side of the vehicle, where he stabbed a man who was trying to help a young girl from the vehicle. The suspect then took the girl from the arms of the man he stabbed.

Multiple witnesses told deputies that they saw the suspect take the child and throw her over a steep cliff into a ravine. The suspect then fled on foot into the canyon.

Upon deputies’ arrival at the collision scene, they were directed to the location of the suspect. After a short foot pursuit, they detained the suspect, Adam Slater.

Deputies and a CHP Officer were directed to the location of the child, where they found her deceased. The child was found to be the daughter of the suspect.

Slater was transported to a local hospital for injuries from the collision. The bystander who was stabbed sought medical treatment on his own.

Police say that Slater will be arrested and booked for murder upon his release from the hospital.

Anyone with information regarding this investigation should call Investigator Munoz with the Central Homicide Unit at 951-955-2777