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Rohnert Park police say dispute over woman leads to stabbing death


A Rohnert Park man was arrested on suspicion of murder late Thursday in what police said was the stabbing death of another Rohnert Park man, apparently stemming from a fight over a woman.

Rohnert Park public safety officers found Roy Kauwe, 22, dead inside his apartment, in the 400 block of Laguna Drive. He had suffered multiple stab wounds to his neck and a pocketknife was found lying nearby, police said.

Officers were called to the scene at Edgewood Apartments shortly after 11 p.m. after someone reported to police dispatch that he had just hurt or killed his friend, police said.

Officers encountered the caller, 25-year-old Daniel James Dieters, standing in the parking lot of the apartment complex, per direction from dispatchers, said Sgt. Jeff Justice.

Then officers found Kauwe inside his apartment. Dieters lived on the same street, Justice said, adding that he has no criminal history with the Rohnert Park police department.

It appears the stabbing was preceded by a dispute over a woman, based on statements made by Dieters and the woman, Justice said.

The woman, 23, arrived at the apartment just before Dieters called 911, Justice said. It's unclear what was happening at the time she arrived, Justice said. Police interviewed the woman before releasing her.

Police suspect the pocketknife recovered at the scene was the weapon used in the killing, Justice said.

Kauwe's family members, who called him "RJ," expressed shock at the nature of his death.

"He is not the kind of person who was ever in trouble, who ever got in a fight," said his older sister, Melissa Kauwe-Warner. "It's incredibly shocking to all of us."

Kauwe grew up in Santa Rosa and graduated from Analy High School, she said. He had been working at Costco in Rohnert Park for about a year and had just moved into his own apartment about a month ago, she said.

"He was excited to be at his own apartment," she said. "It really felt like his whole life was just starting for him."

She described him as a loving guy who cared about his family and a few close friends. She did not know Dieters, though she understood him to be a friend of Kauwe's. Kauwe did not have a serious girlfriend, she said.

Melissa Kauwe-Warner saw her brother for the last time Thursday night, when he came over to visit her and her children. He headed home at around 10 p.m., probably to go to sleep since he had to work in the morning, she said.

By noon on Friday, the Edgewood Apartments complex where Kauwe was killed showed no signs of what had happened the night before, save for a coroner's notice taped across the second-story apartment where Kauwe lived.

The police had left the scene and residents made small talk as they headed to and from their cars. Numerous neighbors interviewed were surprised to hear about the killing.

Residents living near Kauwe had seen him move in recently but did not know him, nor Dieter.

The man living next door to Kauwe, who did not give his name, said he hadn't heard any struggle the night before.

"This is a quiet neighborhood," he commented. "Sometimes you hear doves under the eaves, but that's about it."