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Elderly man arrested for fatal stabbing
The husband of the 85-year-old Rose Avenue woman who was fatally stabbed to death May 25 has been arrested for murder.

Ceres Police Sgt. Jeff Higginbotham said the District Attorney's office was expecting to arraign Piara Johal, 85, of Ceres, on the charge yesterday.

Johal was arrested Sunday evening as he as he was released from Memorial Medical Center. He had been hospitalized for breathing difficulties and chest pains that he developed as police were interviewing him after the stabbing was reported.

A son-in-law checked on the couple after being unable to get them on the phone. He found the Jagir Johal stabbed to death inside the couple's home in the 2600 block of Rose Avenue. The body had sustained multiple stab wounds and was found in the living room next to the kitchen. Piara Johal was found in his bedroom with a stab wound to his hand.

Police questioned Mr. Johal briefly and found him dazed. He claimed that he didn't know about the attack. He was later taken to Memorial Medical Center for treatment of shortness of breath and chest pains.

Police consider him the lone suspect.

During the investigation of the crime scene, police found a bloodied butcher knife in the kitchen. The house showed no signs of forced entry nor was there any evidence of a big struggle, police said.

"We're still investigating," said Sgt. Higginbotham.

Police have collected statements from the suspect and others but would not reveal their content. Higginbotham said that evidence collected at the scene has been forwarded to the state Department of Justice for forensics analysis.

Prior to the stabbing, Mr. Johal had been hospitalized and had returned home a week prior to the stabbing. Neighbors told police that the man seemed out of it since returning home.

Neighbors described the Johals as quiet unassuming people who moved into the neighborhood for approximately 25 years. They immigrated to the United States from India in 1976.