Woman stabbed to death in Arlington apartment with children inside, police say

1 of the kids called 911, police say

A woman was killed in a stabbing Friday morning at an apartment complex on University Boulevard near the Jacksonville University campus.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A woman was killed in a stabbing Friday morning at an apartment complex on University Boulevard near the Jacksonville University campus.

Police said three children were in the home at the time, but they were not hurt.

One of the children called 911 to report the stabbing just after 5 a.m. Friday at the Tree House Apartment Homes on University Boulevard, police said. Police said the children will be interviewed as part of the investigation.

“That’s very critical because whatever the alleged suspect says, it’s going to be matched to what the witnesses are saying,” News4Jax crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson said.

Nathan Matthew Rines, 40, was arrested by Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office detectives and charged with second-degree murder. He appeared before a judge Saturday morning and was appointed a public defender. He was ordered to be held without bond and will be in court again Aug. 9.

Investigators at the scene believed Rines was married to the victim and they were working to confirm that.

“When you come to a crime scene and the victim has been stabbed multiple times, then you see that crime -- it’s usually a crime of rage,” Jefferson said. “The person was angry more than likely at the time and they have taken all their frustration out on that individual.”

Nathan Rines was booked into jail Friday afternoon charged with second-degree murder. (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

Neighbors said they were saddened by the news but aren’t surprised at the violence in their neighborhood.

“This isn’t the safest neighborhood in Jacksonville. I can tell you that right now,” said Zach Doyle, who lives in the complex. “I’m not really surprised because stuff like that happens around here all the time.”

Manya Gerstley also lives in the complex and said she was heartbroken for the family.

“I can’t put into words how terrible it is,” Gerstley said. “It scares me as a woman because you never know walking out that door if you’re going to walk back in.”

Both Doyle and Gerstley said they’re planning to move.

“I would feel more safe if there was a cop coming through every hour or every couple hours. I know they have so much going on anyway, but I think that would help a little bit,” Gerstley said.

In the last month within a mile of the complex where the stabbing took place, there have been at least 10 assaults, 10 vehicle thefts, seven reports of vandalism, seven thefts, four burglaries, two vehicle break-ins and one robbery.

If you or someone you know is or has been a victim of domestic violence or abuse, there are also other resources available:

  • The Florida Domestic Violence Hotline, which will direct you to the nearest shelter, is 1-800-500-1119.
  • The National Domestic Violence Hotline is open 24 hours a day. The number is 1-800-799-SAFE.
  • The Micah’s Place (Nassau County) Domestic Violence Help Hotline is 904-225-9979.
  • The Hubbard House in Jacksonville can be reached by dialing 904-354-3114. You can also send texts to 904-210-3698.
  • The Betty Griffin Center in St. Johns County can be reached at 904-824-1555.

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