Man Beat Girlfriend’s ‘Cover Story’ Friend to Death, Bludgeoned Her 4-Year-Old Daughter, Police Say

·2 min read
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A Kansas City man beat his girlfriend’s friend to death and bludgeoned her 4-year-old daughter to within an inch of her life after his girlfriend falsely told him she would be with the two as part of a bogus cover story, authorities say.

Jose E. Escalante-Corchado, 24, faces a first-degree murder charge and a slew of other charges for the vicious attack police say he unleashed on 24-year-old Mackenzie Hopkins and her daughter over the weekend, Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker said in a statement.

The young mother, a nursing assistant at a Kansas City hospital, was found dead in a bathtub at her home during a welfare check Saturday. After navigating around “large amounts of blood” and “drag marks” throughout the house, officers found Hopkins’ 4-year-old daughter on a bed with “severe blunt force trauma to her head,” court documents said.

The toddler is now fighting for her life in the ICU. Mackenzie Hopkins’ family has been left clinging to hope that at least her baby girl will survive.

“Mackenzie was so loved by many. She was an incredible sister, daughter, friend, and mother. Her only wish would be for her sweet little girl to recover as quickly as possible,” her family said in a GoFundMe set up after the killing.

Escalante-Corchado’s alleged role in the brutal attack came to light by chance—and the distinct impressions left in blood by a popular cowboy boot brand, authorities said. Investigators visited one of Hopkins’ female friends for questioning at her home the day after the murder, and they noticed a pair of cowboy boots that seemed to match boot prints left behind in blood at Hopkins’ home, the affidavit says.

<div class="inline-image__credit">Wyandotte County Jail </div>
Wyandotte County Jail

The friend, who has not been identified, then told detectives the boots belonged to her boyfriend, Escalante-Corchado.

She told them she had used Mackenzie Hopkins as a cover story for her whereabouts the night before the murder.

The friend “stated she told Escalante she was going to be with the victim the evening of 1-14-2022 when she was going out” although “this was a cover story and she did not plan on being with the victim,” the police affidavit said.

When she returned home that night, Escalante-Corchado was not at home, she said, and he came back only the next morning. He was also captured in surveillance video in his truck near the scene, though he denied involvement in the murder.

He had “no reasonable explanation for being in the area of the victim’s house in his truck for over 2 hours,” police said.

But under questioning, Escalante-Corchado did apparently unwittingly reveal a motive for why he would brutally assault the 4-year-old girl.

According to the affidavit, he claimed he had “helped the victim move in her house and stated the victim’s daughter would know who he was.”

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