Police: Woman crosses country to stab ex

July 10, 2008 9:02:29 PM PDT
A Florida woman followed her ex-husband across the country and fatally stabbed him inside an Iowa mall where he was working for a traveling circus set up in the parking lot, police said Thursday.

Debi Joy Droguett Olson, 53, of Sarasota, Fla., was charged Thursday with first-degree murder and willful injury in the death in Davenport of 52-year-old Mauricio Droguett, said Capt. David Struckman.

"It's a classic case of rage, of hate for someone - it's very personal," he said. "She definitely stalked this man."

Olson confessed to investigators, Struckman said.

Scott County prosecutor Jerry Feuerbach said Olson was scheduled to appear in district court Friday, but he did not know whether she had an attorney. She is being held in the Scott County jail.

Mauricio Droguett was walking in the NorthPark Mall on Thursday morning when he was stabbed more than 10 times, Struckman said. One of his circus co-workers reportedly subdued Olson until police arrived.

That man suffered minor injuries, Struckman said.

Authorities said Droguett worked for Carson & Barnes Family Circus, based in Sarasota, Fla. He had gotten restraining orders against his ex-wife in at least three states, but Feuerbach said he did not know whether Iowa was one of them.

The couple were married for about 20 years before divorcing a few years ago, Feuerbach said.

It wasn't clear what Droguett's duties in the circus were, and a call to a number listed for the circus went unanswered.

Struckman said Olson parked her vehicle where her ex-husband wouldn't see it and apparently waited at a loading dock where she had a vantage point of the parking lot circus.

Olson carried a hammer and knife as she followed Droguett into the mall, then stabbed him repeatedly, Struckman said. There were about a half-dozen witnesses, Struckman said.

"We've got human emotion involved - this case is a very strong case of anger," he said.