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Victim identified in Thursday morning stabbing in Bozeman

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Posted at 4:07 PM, Jul 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-11 09:49:13-04

BOZEMAN - The Gallatin County Sheriff's Coroner has released the name of the man who was stabbed to death early morning Thursday.

The victim was identified as 19-year-old Lesman Joan Escobar-Andara. Lesman had been stabbed repeatedly and succumbed to his injuries. The cause of death was determined to be sharp force injuries to the chest and the manner was ruled a homicide.

In the release, the Sheriff's Office stated: "Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends of Lesman Joan Escobar-Andara."

The suspect, Francisco Padilla-Canales, 41, was seen in Gallatin County Justice Court on Thursday, July 7, 2022, and his bail was set at $1M. His next court appearance is scheduled for July 22, 2022.

In the release, the Sheriff's Office stated: "Our deepest condolences go to the family and friends of Lesman Joan Escobar-Andara."

Lesman Joan Escobar-Andara snow
Lesman Joan Escobar-Andara
Lesman Joan Escobar-Andara construction
Lesman Joan Escobar-Andara

According to charging documents, a 911 call was received initially at 12:49 a.m., but the caller hung up. Another 911 call was received at 12:51 from the same number, with the caller stating a man had stabbed himself in the chest.

Patrol officers responded and found a man with multiple stab wounds to his chest and another man attempting CPR on the victim. A woman was also at the residence on Brenden Street in Bozeman. The residence is located west of Ferguson, between Durston and Babcock streets.

A folding DeWalt knife was reportedly recovered by officers near the victim. The man, identified as Francisco Padilla-Canales, 41, and the woman at the scene were taken to the Gallatin County Law and Justice Center to be interviewed by detectives.

The woman stated that she was romantically involved with the victim and married to Padilla-Canales.

She reportedly told detectives she was employed as a house cleaner and had been cleaning the vacation rental and allowing the victim to stay at the rental where the alleged crime took place.

The woman also told detectives that a few days prior to the homicide, the victim had found a GPS tracking device on her vehicle, which she suspected Padilla-Canales of placing there.

According to charging documents, the woman told detectives that she and the victim were in a bedroom watching TV early in the morning of July 7 when Padilla-Canales entered the bedroom, confronted the two, and reportedly made a punching motion toward the victim’s upper torso. The woman ran out of the room in fear, but Padilla-Canales reportedly caught her and brandished a firearm. The woman told detectives she was in fear for her safety and was afraid she would be killed.

When detectives interviewed Padilla-Canales, the man reportedly admitted to placing the GPS tracker on the woman’s vehicle. He also reportedly admitted to entering the house through the back door and stabbing the victim with a Dewalt folding knife in the chest. He stated he decided to tell law enforcement the victim had attempted suicide, placing the knife near the victim.