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Suspect identified after woman fatally stabbed at San Francisco home, police say

Police officers gather outside a home.
A fatal stabbing in San Francisco’s Holly Park neighborhood claimed a woman’s life, police said Wednesday. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

San Francisco police found a woman fatally stabbed in the back after officers were called to a home in the Holly Park neighborhood Wednesday morning.

The unnamed woman was found after a property manager called police to report a forced-open front door at a home on Appleton Avenue in Holly Park, which is just west of Bernal Heights.

The woman was pronounced dead at the scene. Her identity was unavailable, pending next-of-kin notification from the city's Office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

On Wednesday night, police told The Standard that a suspect, later identified as 46-year-old Marceleno Wilson, was taken into custody following a chase that ended in the East Bay.

After identifying Wilson as the suspect, officers located him driving a vehicle in the Ingleside neighborhood and attempted to conduct a traffic stop, police said. A chase ensued with the suspect leading officers to Oakland, where he was taken into custody.

Police have not confirmed if Wilson is the victim's son despite several requests for clarity.

A white van.
A medical examiner's office van is seen outside the scene of a suspected homicide on Appleton Avenue in San Francisco on Wednesday. | Source: Garrett Leahy/The Standard

The home where the woman was found is part of the Holly Courts housing complex. Neighbors and other residents at the property told The Standard they had seen police cars at the complex before—and in front of the unit where the woman was found dead. Still, they were bewildered by the killing.

“This is just so shocking for us,” said Debra Daniels, who lives on Appleton six doors down from the unit. “How did this happen?”

Daniels said she often saw police cars in front of the building, saying cops had come three times in the last month.

Daniels and another Holly Courts resident told The Standard the woman often got into arguments with her son.

“Her and her son would have fights and arguments all the time,” said one resident, who asked to not be identified due to safety concerns. “They’ve repaired the door multiple times already.”

On Wednesday evening, large black smudges were noticeable on the unit’s door.

Police officers and taped-off scene with a dog watching from a doorway.
Employees of the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner move the woman's body out of the unit on Wednesday afternoon. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

The resident said officers responded to the unit as recently as Monday night due to a fight between the victim and her son.

“I saw a number of cop cars,” he said. “Although today was really shocking.”

He added that while he didn’t know the woman well, he has spoken with her son about joining the U.S. Merchant Marine, an organization of civilian mariners.

“He wanted to be a merchant marine, and I was one, so I would give him hints,” he said. “I talked to him a number of times.”

Police did not immediately respond to The Standard’s questions about the neighbors’ accounts.

Another neighbor said the incident is indicative of the public safety issues facing the city.

“It’s getting worse,” he said. “There’s always something going on at that housing complex. Stuff happens all the time over there where the police have to come out.”

Two blue doors of a green building with a metal railing, lights above each door, and a dog statue to the right.
Large black smudges are visible on the door of the apartment where the woman's body was found. | Source: Joel Umanzor/The Standard

Akiko Rodrigues, who has lived at Holly Courts since 2006, said she often saw the victim on her way to work.

“We would exchange, ‘Hi, Neighbor,’” Rodrigues said. “I see her in the mornings while I catch my bus for work. She was a very nice ... lady, but I didn’t know her personally.”

According to Rodrigues, although residents at the housing complex tend to keep to themselves, it is a tight-knit community where people keep an eye out for one another. The majority of residents, she said, are senior citizens.

“It surprises me, but it doesn’t shake my confidence living here,” Rodrigues said. “A lot of us who have lived here for years are like family. It’s very community-based. I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.”

George Kelly can be reached at
Garrett Leahy can be reached at
Jonah Owen Lamb can be reached at
Joel Umanzor can be reached at