MONTEVIDEO, Minn. (WCCO) – A 24-year-old man is in custody after a woman was reportedly stabbed to death at a Pizza Ranch Restaurant in Montevideo, according to police.

Authorities were called to the scene at about 8:45 p.m. Friday on a report of a stabbing. When they arrived, they found a female laying on the floor and a man with a knife standing over the victim.

An officer at the scene drew her weapon and ordered the man to put down the knife. He complied with demands and the officer arrested him. The woman was taken to the Chippewa County Montevideo Hospital, where she later died from multiple stab wounds.

Authorities have identified the woman as 18-year-old Vinessa Lozano of Montevideo.

Police have identified the suspect as Darek Nelson, of Montevideo. Nelson is currently in the Yellow Medicine County Jail awaiting criminal charges.

Police said both Nelson and Lozano were employees of the Pizza Ranch in Montevideo.

Montevideo Police Chief Adam Christopher said the incident appears to be premeditated. Nelson admitted to stabbing Lozano at least 30 times with a hunting knife outside of the restaurant in the parking lot. Nelson brought the hunting knife with him to work Friday, police said.

According to Christopher, Nelson was infatuated with the woman, who now leaves behind a small child. Christopher said the incident is being taken hard by the small community as many people in the town know both Nelson and Lozano.

Lozano worked two jobs – the other was at the Luther Haven nursing home, where she worked as a certified nursing assistant — to support her 18-month-old son, Carson. The employees at Pizza Ranch were like her family; she’d worked there since she was 14-years-old. Lozano’s Pizza Ranch co-workers held a prayer service for her Saturday night.

Robin Savoy, Lazno’s mother, can’t comprehend how she’ll face life without her only daughter.

“It was over that quick — minutes, in a blink of an eye…she was a baby to a young mom, to full-grown woman,” Savoy said. “She will never see her son grow up; he will never know his mother.”

Adam Paradee, Lozano’s uncle, said the brutality of the stabbing was like something one sees in the movies.

“What a monster is this guy to do this to someone so sweet and serene,” Paradee said. “It’s hard to explain unless you knew her personally how she was and what she brought into this world.”

Christopher said Nelson has no criminal past – not even a parking ticket.

Police say Nelson will likely face first-degree murder charges.

Comments (56)
  1. Bruce Wayne says:

    this sounds like a slam dunk for the prosecution, but it’ll never see a trial

    1. Vinnessas Dad says:

      Don’t be so quick to judge…Innocent until proven Guilty!!

      1. pizza man says:

        ..meant 1 1/2

      2. Julie Nolte says:

        i agree with you innocent until proven guilty but he did confess to the murder and was standing over her body in the parking lot. so it should be an easy case for the lawyers. My prayers go out to the family of Vinnessa and her son Carson as he will not know his mom like he should all he will have is the memories of her family to tell him.

      3. A MOTHER says:

        Wrong thing for you to comment or worry about. Have a HEART & SYMPATHY for her SON who will never see his mother again & have some COMPASSION for VINESSA & her FAMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      4. Lesha says:

        Why would your name be vinessas dad and then say innocent until proven guilty ????

  2. Paul Tyler says:

    I hope that this guy gets sent down for what he’s done, my heart goes out to friends and family of this young woman. R.I.P.

  3. lesha says:

    He deserves life in prison!!! How could somone do that so heartlessly. Carsons going to grow up with out his mother not even knowing her or having memories of her. How would you explain this to him when hes older. This is unexceptable he better be put away for a long time or justice will not be served.

    1. What Next? says:

      He deserves to be stabbed 30 times, in public…possibly pay-per-view

      1. Lesha says:

        Thats true but in all reality mn dont offer the death penalty soo Hope he gets life in prision and they take care of him in there and then he will have to meet his maker face to face.

  4. Horrible Times says:

    Another twenty something, insane man. Seems to be too many, as of late.

    1. man on fire says:

      you know, I often wonder if it’s that there is more, we have access to more information like this now, or a combo of both? Either way, it feels like this has been consistent with the misery of the country for the last 5 years. Perhaps it’s lack of opportunity to develop a normal life in a land saturated in humans with little use for many of them??? Dude could not have foreseen a strong future like the ones portrayed on television working at a pizza palace in timbuktu.

  5. Justin Schmitz says:

    life in prison he should get the death penalty this man to longer should be on this earth after dong this and basically sate on her and watched her basically past away

  6. Me says:

    This happened around 8:45pm? Were customers there? Why would he do such a thing? No disagreement at work should lead to this.

    1. mna on fire says:

      Read the article ME. It helps to do this before leaping into the message boards.

    2. Trevor says:

      He has been trying to date her for a long time and he got turned down too many times he thought, so he killed her. i am a friend of her brother

    3. Sanity says:

      This is a small town. Pizza Ranch closes at 10pm on weekends. There are very few customers this late at night and the area is very poorly lit.

  7. toby says:

    @ horrible times
    “Another twenty something, insane man. Seems to be too many, as of late.”

    insane person might be a better way to put it. Plenty of horrible and insane women in the world too.

  8. Tom says:

    Someone please…take out the garbage!!!

  9. Ellen says:

    Does anyone know who Darek’s parents are? I’m from Monte
    originally and I”m curious. What a shocking thing to have
    happen there, and it’s very sad.

    1. James B Kaska says:

      curious also???they may have seen this coming……and i know some nelsons from that area. R.I.P. SWEET GIRL! Justice will be served one way or another.

  10. Pate says:

    I get so sick of hearing about somebody resorting to violence for being turned down for a date or relationship.Not everyone desires a relationship or friendship simply because they interact with another person.He sounds crazy,and should not be let out indefinitely.

  11. Brianna Kottschade says:

    he even looks like a creeper. i feel bad for her baby to now have to grow up with out his mommy cuz some piece of **** refused to take no for an answer. so sad 😦

  12. Bill Clintons Cigar says:

    That is one ugly whtie boy……and now we get to pay his POS arse until death does he part…….

  13. Rita says:

    For “man of fire” : What makes ones job more important than anothers??? Montevideo is not Timbuktu!! Pretty poor choice of words, when the community is suffering a terrible ordeal!! Life isn’t any less important here!!!!

    1. What Next? says:

      man of fire should maybe be man on fire. Seems like a narrow-minded mental midget

      1. Man "ON" Fire says:

        Rita & “What Next, ” you guys are both idiots. And it is, and always has been Man On Fire, not “Of.” I hope you two are not from there cause you’re making the public school system look like it needs to be investigated. Either way, I never said one job is more important than another but in case you need it to be pointed out to you, you can measure the importance of one job over another by the responsibilities and tasks you are assigned to cary. The world doesn’t need more waiters at pizza houses, FYI. Being a waiter at a Pizza Planet and getting rejected by the same girl over and over again doesn’t exactly build the kind of confidence that makes one take responsibility for themselves to the point where they question their actions because they have EVERYTHING to lose! Are you getting this? Likely not. Comment back something stupid if you need further explanation. Idiots. And your staggering population (rounded mind you) of 6 thousand does qualify you for Timbuktu. Get over yourselves.

  14. What Next? says:

    What’s your point? And, yes, I have eaten at Pizza Ranch. I have never seen any indication that it is “Christian”.

  15. Eric Craig says:

    he might look funny but think about it for a sec. not everyone is always ugly to do some thing like this. its the actions they do that make them truly ugly. i knew vanessa for 7 years and she did not deserve what happened to her. so instead of slamming some creep who cant read this anyways send prayers and condolences to the family and loved ones , for they are truly heartbroken cause of this tradegy.

  16. Mel says:

    So horrible. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family and friends. I wonder if this guy had a history of mental illness and if that should be considered being mandatory information on job applications. I understand that not all mentally ill people are violent, but I find it hard to believe this guy just snapped.

    1. iswearbuyit says:

      Horrific, tragic, and senseless act of violence. Do I find it hard to believe this guy just snapped? Not in the least. It’s startling to realize what the human animal is capable of. Who knows exactly what the twisted thought process was, or should I say impulse process that went through this guy’s mind to carry out such an act. Quite possible he was taking rejection all his life and just couldn’t take it anymore, and she became the object of all he had taken up to that point. Maybe drug and alcohol abuse contributed to a degraded frontal cortex resulting in low impulse control. Maybe historical mental illness. What scares me, as a father with a daughter of my own, is that she may not have done anything overt to provoke this guy, and he simply decided not to take what he perceived as rejection anymore. A sickly jealous rage of “if I can’t have her, no one will” kind of thing. Can certainly work the same way in women toward men as well.

      Whatever the case may be, the fact remains that one of God’s children has slain another of God’s children, and that is nothing short of the work of the Devil. And as such, I will pray for both the family of the victim and the family of the assailant.

      1. I don't know what I'm talking about says:

        ….I wouldn’t quit your day job. Your diagnosis is quit accurate. He DOES have an I.C.D. ( Impulse Control Disorder ), but more what we call a Catagory #2 I.E.D. ( Intermittant Explosive Disorder ). Your reasons as to which is or to cause are to general and can not be specific. It’s clinically difficult to disentangle causes from one another, with the result that the impulsivity at the core of the disorders is obscured. But my hats off to you, you obviously have some better judgement about what happened than others, the cause is what’s cloudy.

  17. homer says:

    Why 30? Sure, it’s a round number, but still . . .

  18. devel says:

    open discussion only if ya say what the moderators want….

  19. Chuck says:

    Let’s hope that the child’s father is going to be there for it. But, I bet not!!!
    So SAD!!

  20. SP says:

    What does it matter if she was only 15 when she had her baby. The article states she was working 2 jobs to support her baby. Sounds like she was being pretty darn responsible to me…. just saying.. that’s all!!

  21. Nunov Yurbiznez says:

    “What Next” are you dense? All you need to do is do a simple bit of searching. On their website and Facebook page, they have their company vision: “To glorify God by positively impacting the world we live in.” Also, the article states that the other employees held a prayer vigil tonight.

  22. Trevor Price says:

    i cant believe someone could such a thing. i live in montevideo so i have eaten there many times and now i relize that guy has served me, walked by me, and worst he was cooking everybodys food. that was my friends sister.

  23. Timothy Johnson says:

    This inocent, unarmed, still just a baby child did not deserve this, I pray for her and her family. I hope he gets whats coming to him and more!

  24. Ashley says:

    Oh Nessa!! I still can’t believe that you are gone!! My heart aches for Carson and your family!! Everyone that knew you has lost an important part of them!!! I keep asking mself “Why?”!!!! You were such a wonderful friend, and I wll cherish you forever!!! I have one favor thouh please?! Will you be with me tonight!!! I really need you!!! I love you Nessa!!!<3

  25. LM says:

    Thank you, SP! For pete’s sake people, have some respect and just shut up. The girl tried so hard to care for her child, working at pizza ranch and at a nursing home. She was so sweet and caring, and any of you who come on here and comment like it’s some tv show need to get a life. Don’t make her family’s and friend’s lives harder by having trite and stupid arguments about her and/or her situation.

  26. SICK says:

    Don’t people think of the consequence for their actions before they do something like this crazy kid did?

    What makes someone snap like that? Sick

    Watching or reading the news now-days makes me physically and emotionaly sick…

  27. the missing link says:

    It’s reassuring to see evidence that Legacy Funds and the MN Film Board were collaborating on filming of “Planet of the Apes-Montevideo.”

  28. What the says:

    Exactly what does a christian restaurant look like? I worked at the Montevideo Pizza Ranch for 10 years putting myself through high school and college. The company is actually run by by good christian people. I never met this girl, but I feel bad for her and the community. It sounds to me like she was a good person who was trying to do the best she could and taking responsibility for her and her baby. I think more people need to do that rather than stand with their hand out crying help me, but not willing to do anything for themselves. Montevideo is a small community of good people, where everyone knows everyone, and I am sure this is going through town like a shock wave. Hopefully they put him away for a long time.

  29. rottdogge says:

    No wonder she wasn’t interested in this chimp….what a mug. Well, the insanity continues….I remember this same deal happening at an on-campus pizza joint where I went to college…..’you won’t date me because I’m an ugly, psychotic loser, so now you have to die….I don’t get you, neither does anyone else’

  30. josie says:

    Hate to say it guys, but gals have to be so very careful, even being just friendly.

  31. just sayin says:

    I think the family should get to torture him to death…. that would be so great. Eye for an eye. Teach people a lesson and make them think twice before committing crimes.

  32. Lesha says:

    There has been a fund set up for Vinessa, anything you can donate will be a big help to the family and Carson. Please keep them in your prayers it will be a long time before anyone can even start to heal.
    VINESSA LOZANO MEMORIAL FUND set up at the Montevideo Coop Credit Union P.O.BX.447 Montevideo Mn.56265

  33. Im so sad for my niece all my heart goes to my dear robin and erik and vincent and baby from aunt chavela from brownsville.texas

  34. Rufus Larkin says:

    It is sad that the Knife is undergoing a ‘crime renaissance’

  35. appalled citizen says:

    I am appalled by the fact that this man wasn’t shot by the police as soon as they arrived on seen.personally i don’t think that this man will make it through the prison system because i know some people in there that would love to tear him apart just to give this peace ************* what he deserves.

  36. Am says:

    She was my next door neighbor’s daughter in law!

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