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| Crime |

Mesa Man Charged With Murder; Claims He Doesn't Know How His Girlfriend Turned Purple and Died

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A Mesa man claims he has no idea what caused his on-again-off-again girlfriend to "turn purple" and die yesterday morning, but a member of his family told police he admitted killing her, according to court documents.

Gilbert police received a call yesterday morning from a member of 21-year-old Dartanion Terrial Stroud's family, saying Stroud told another family member in Florida that he killed his 26-year-old former girlfriend, Angelita Francisca Montano.

Police from Gilbert and Mesa started a search for Stroud and Montano, but the pair weren't at the victim's last-known address.

Within hours of police receiving the 9-1-1 call from Stroud's family, Stroud and Montano popped up at the emergency room at Banner Desert Medical Center, where Montano was purple, unconscious, and unresponsive to treatment. She died within an hour of getting to the hospital.

When Stroud got to the hospital with his purple-faced former flame, security in the emergency room detained him, and Gilbert police showed up to find out what caused the woman to die.

Stroud admitted to being there when the victim's face turned purple, but claims to have no idea what caused it.

Police, however, got a pretty good idea when they found strangulation marks on Montano's neck.

Stroud, who has a 9-month-old child with the victim, was ordered by a judge to stay away from her earlier this year, stemming from an August domestic-violence complaint.

Stroud was booked into Maricopa County Jail on $500,000 bail and charged with second-degree murder with extreme indifference.

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