Fresno County throat-slashing victim says friend's jealousy was possible motive for attack

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A Valley woman whose throat was slashed is now talking about the terrifying attack on her family and revealing new details about a possible motive. (KFSN)

A Valley woman whose throat was slashed is now talking about the terrifying attack on her family and revealing new details about a possible motive.

It's been almost four weeks since Elias Sanchez, 23, and his wife, Francisca, 21, were attacked in their Fresno County home.

"It's kind of strange coming back and just seeing what happened after everything," said Elias. He also said he doesn't remember anything from that night. "I just fell asleep, and when I woke up I was in the hospital," he said.

But Francisca said she relives the nightmare every day. It's hard for her to talk because she says the suspect slit her throat. "My trachea and my jugular are completely reconstructed," she said.

The suspect is Gustavo Hernandez. The 20-year-old was a longtime family friend. "When he was attacking me I didn't feel angry; I felt really, really sorry for him because when he was saying that he was envious of us I thought he must be really, really miserable to feel this much envy," said Francisca. It's jealousy that she believes stemmed from insecurities.

The attack, Francisca said, started outside while Elias and her 3 1/2-year-old goddaughter were inside asleep. "I just felt him wrap the cord around my neck, and he dragged me towards the garage," she said.

Once he got her there, investigators said Hernandez slit her throat. "I rolled underneath the truck, and I was underneath the truck, but with all the blood I was not able to breathe," said Francisca.

Hernandez then went after her husband, Francisca said, and hit Elias over the head with a fire extinguisher. Her only hope was to run to a neighbor's house and beg for help by writing on a sheet of paper. "My thought wasn't living; I didn't care about that at that point. I only cared about the baby being OK, and I no longer thought of myself," said Francisca.

With police on the way, investigators said Hernandez took Elias' truck and trailer. The truck was recovered, but Elias' trailer with all of his landscaping tools haven't been found. He hasn't been able to work since, and the couple says they're left heartbroken at the hands of their former friend.
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