Woman found dead in West Allis apartment suffered 36 stab wounds

WEST ALLIS (WITI) -- 48-year-old John Vegas of West Allis is facing one count of first-degree intentional homicide in connection with the stabbing death of 63-year-old Barbara Blong on May 17th.

Vegas allegedly stabbed Blong, who was his neighbor, outside of her apartment on Washington Street in West Allis -- a building that serves as a transitional residence for people with disabilities. Blong was found dead shortly after the incident occurred by her roommate.

According to the criminal complaint, Blong's roommate found her lying face down on the floor near the opened door to their apartment after being awoken from a nap due to yelling.

When police arrived on the scene, they conducted a protective sweep of the other apartments at 7402 W. Washington to make sure that no one else was injured or potentially killed. Upon making contact with Vegas, police noticed he had an injury to his finger and requested consent to search his residence.

Upon searching Vegas' residence police found a yellow jacket, which appeared to have blood on it. At that time, police terminated their search and applied for a search warrant.

According to the criminal complaint, Vegas initially denied involvement in Blong's death, stating he wasn’t a violent person, but that he was on medication because he had been hearing voices in his head that were tormenting him. Vegas later admitted that he stabbed Blong with a kitchen knife that was approximately eight inches long.

According to officials, Vegas stated that he unlocked the door to his apartment and ran toward Blong, who was standing by her door with her back to him, and started stabbing her. According to the complaint, Vegas stated that at the time he stabbed Blong he was hearing voices that “got him going.”

According to the complaint, Vegas stated he had been "hearing voices for a couple months and that the same voices caused him to break his windows last week in his apartment and that he also stabbed a reclining chair in his apartment because he saw some type of spirit."

Upon performing an autopsy it was determined that Blong sustained 36 stab wounds to both the front and back of her body, and determined that she died as a result of multiple sharp force injuries.

If convicted, Vegas could face life in prison. He is expected back in court in June for an analysis of a doctor's report.

Transitional Living Services, which runs the apartment building, released a statement to FOX6 News after charges were filed:

"We at TLS are all profoundly saddened by the tragedy that occurred on May 17 in the Washington Street apartments, 7402-7408 West Washington Street, West Allis.

We are focused on the safety and well-being of the residents of the building, making sure they have the resources they need at this difficult time.

We continue to work with authorities who are investigating the incident."