Police Investigate Fatal Machete Stabbing at Modesto Park

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Modesto police are searching for a killer after a father was found fatally stabbed by a machete in a westside park.

Estelle Counts has known the victim, 55-year-old Robbie Hull, for years.

"I don't see why anybody would even want to do that to him, and stab him up like that, you know," Counts told FOX40.

Counts and Hull have two children together, a son and a daughter.

"My daughter's taking it really bad right now, and my son hasn't really accepted that he's gone," Counts said.

Modesto police said Hull was stabbed by a man with a machete after getting into a fight at Mellis Park near Martin Luther King Drive and California Avenue on Friday night.

James Gaines told FOX40 he saw the whole thing and he knows the suspect only by the name "Alabama," and at first it was just a verbal argument.

"It was about Alabama kept getting in Robbie's business," said Gaines, who said soon it turned physical. "And then Robbie got up and hit him three or four times and they rolled right there."

That's when police believe Hull was stabbed. The suspect then fled in a vehicle while Gaines and others tried to help Hull. The 55-year-old was rushed to the hospital but did not survive his wounds.

"He's in a better place now," said Mark Fifer, one of Hull's best friends.

Although people at the park told FOX40 the suspect's name is Alabama, police still have not officially identified him. Detectives hope a Crime Stoppers reward will have people calling in with tips.

"If anybody out there do know where he's at, I think it's right for you to come forward and let us know where he's at," Counts said.

Hull's friends say he spent most of his time working as a maintenance man at St. James Church, across Martin Luther King Drive from the park where he was killed.

Counts and Fifer said Hull also did what he could to help homeless in the neighborhood.

"He's a good person, he's a loving person and everyone really respected him and liked him and thought really highly of him," Fifer said.

"Bring (his killer) to justice, because I think my kids deserve that, to have justice for their father," Counts said.

If you have any information regarding this incident, detectives encourage you to call Crime Stoppers at (209) 521-4636. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a cash reward. Tipsters may also text information to Crime Stoppers at 274637. Just type “TIP704” along with your message.


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