Second victim in fatal double stabbing identified

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Decatur Police publicly identified the second victim Tuesday afternoon in a weekend double stabbing that also killed a 14-year-old girl.

Police identified the man as 35-year-old Manuel De Jesus Franco.

The announcement comes after DeKalb County deputies arrested 36-year-old Royce Alex Stewart for the killings.

Stewart is charged with the murders of Franco and 14-year-old Shykia Ward on Sunday at the Trinity Walk Apartments at 421 West Trinity Place, directly across from Decatur Police Headquarters.

According to a news release, Stewart is Shykia’s uncle and brother to her mother, Kimberly Ward.

Police said Franco was the boyfriend of Kimberly Ward.

Decatur police told FOX 5 that officers got a call at around 9:35 a.m. Sunday morning that two people had been stabbed to death.

When officers arrived, they found two bodies inside of Kimberly Ward’s apartment.

Stewart did not live in the apartment, according to the news release.

Stewart allegedly stabbed both victims with a knife and then stole a 2014 Ford Mustang convertible.

There is currently no motive for the crime, authorities said.

Deputies said they arrested Stewart in an area near Mercer Woods Subdivision in southeast DeKalb County Monday afternoon after a car chase and foot pursuit. 

Stewart made his first court appearance Monday night on two counts of murder and one count of theft by taking. He will face a bond hearing next month.

A vigil in memory of the teenager will take place Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at Beacon Municipal Courtyard at 420 Trinity Place in Decatur.