Police report: Abby Saldaña told family, boss she feared man now charged with her murder
A Wichita Falls woman murdered last week on a Fort Worth roadway told her boss and family that she was afraid of a man who was stalking and harassing her, according to allegations in court documents. Stanley Frank Szeliga, a 54-year-old software engineer, has been charged with murder in connection with the shooting death of 22-year-old Abigail “Abby” Saldana, who was killed Oct.
26. Saldana, who left behind a son, is from Wichita Falls and was living and working in the Metroplex.
Szeliga of Irving was being held Monday in the Tarrant County Lon Evans Corrections Center in Fort Worth on a £250,000 bond for a murder charge, according to online jail records. If convicted, he faces up to life in prison. More: Abigail ‘Abby’ Saldana’s mother speaks out, services set
Fort Worth police released an arrest warrant affidavit Monday detailing the allegations against Szeliga: Police responded about 8:40 p.m. to the area of 131 Texas Highway 183 to investigate a silver sedan off the road’s shoulder in the grass. A 911 caller told police she saw the car speeding before driving off the exit ramp and into the grassy area next to the road.
The caller approached the vehicle and told police it appeared to have bullet holes in the passenger side, and the occupant was not moving and was not responsive. An officer arrived and saw a silver Hyundai sedan with apparent bullet holes and a woman inside who appeared to be dead. Medical responders pronounced her dead at the scene from apparent gunshot wounds.
She was tentatively identified as Saldana from a passport in the car. A homicide detective assumed control of the investigation. When he got to the scene, he saw that the vehicle appeared to have been shot three times.
He and another detective found three shell casings and broken glass at the intersection of Amon Carter Boulevard and Highway 183. That is where police believe Saldana was shot before entering the highway as seen by the 911 caller. Homicide detectives noticed she had items of clothing in her car like those worn by dancers such as those at Rick’s Cabaret, which was within view of the crime scene.
The manager at Rick’s had a record of Saldana as an employee, but he said she didn’t work Oct.
26. The manager explained Saldana was recently harassed by a Rick’s customer known only as “Stan.” The manager knew Stan was a military veteran but not much else about him.
The manager showed the detective an Instagram post Saldana made Oct.
14 about finding a tracker the customer had hidden on her car to follow her. The manager indicated Saldana was afraid of the man, identified as Szeliga, because he was stalking and harassing her. More: Man suspected of stalking, killing Wichita Falls woman in Fort Worth held on £250,000 bond
The manager showed the detective several Instagram posts showing Szeliga was irritated with Saldana and planned to make an accusation against her of prostitution. The detective saw a post Szeliga had made three hours earlier. It looked like a screen shot indicating Szeliga paid Saldana £3,000.
He was posting it to support his allegations of prostitution. The detective was able to get Szeliga’s address and phone number from the post. Research showed Szeliga owns a red Ford F150.
A homicide sergeant tracked the pickup down to a parking space inside a garage. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office officially identified the murder victim as Saldana on Wednesday, Oct.
27. Her family contacted the Fort Worth police Homicide Office after receiving notification of her death.
Saldana’s family indicated she had voiced fear of Szeliga because he was stalking and harassing her. A plate reader database showed that his pickup was photographed at Midway Road and McEwen Road at about 8:22 p.m. Oct.
26. The red truck was spotted near Saldana’s home by the license plate reader. The same database shows Saldana entering the same intersection just seconds before the red truck.
More: Police need help finding armed radio-station intruder This indicates Szeliga was following her car. The sightings at the intersection about 17 miles from the crime scene were about 17 minutes before the 911 call.
Szeliga’s pickup was also spotted on five other occasions in the days leading up to the shooting, indicating he may have been stalking Saldana. Szeliga agreed to meet with the detective at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct.
27. He called 15 minutes before the appointment, telling the detective he had been notified of a death in his family but agreeing to keep the meeting.
He didn’t show up. The detective obtained a search warrant and at about 11:37 p.m. that day, Fort Worth SWAT team members served the warrant. Szeliga refused to come out of his apartment.
He caused a self-inflicted wound to his neck, requiring medical attention. Services for Saldana are set for this week. A rosary will be said from 5:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday at Owens & Brumley Funeral Home.
Visitation will follow from 6 p.m. to 8 pm. Tuesday. The funeral will be 10 a.m. Wednesday at Sacred Heart Catholic Church.
Trish Choate, enterprise watchdog reporter for the Times Record News, covers education, courts, breaking news, politics and more.
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