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Seattle man charged with killing his children's mother; friends share her memory

King County prosecutors charged Daniel Tesfai with first degree murder in the death of Lucia Kashai inside a home in Rainier Valley

SEATTLE — King County prosecutors charged a Seattle man with first-degree murder for killing the mother of his children

Prosecutors accused Daniel Tesfai of stabbing Lucia Kashai inside a home in Rainier Valley on the night of Aug. 1.

Kashai's friend of more than 30 years reflected on their friendship on Wednesday.

“She would not want me crying right now, but it’s hard not to. She was very important. A special person,” said Ali England.

Kashai was a mother of four.

Tesfai, the father of her children, is accused of stabbing her repeatedly. Court documents state it started while she was laying on the couch with two of her children. 

It was the couple's children who called 911.

“It’s difficult to see them hurt and affected in this way when she didn't deserve this stamp on her name when she was so much more,” said England.

Kashai's family and friends want her to be remembered for her positive impact on the community. England said she was always volunteering, even feeding people who were waiting at the bus stop.

“She never met a stranger. If she saw someone with a look on their face she would give them a big bright smile and say something funny,” said England.

According to charging documents, Kashai filed a petition for a protection order in 2017 and her brother told police the couple had prior violent incidents.

“If you know your friend is going through something, you try your best to keep them safe. Try harder,” said England.

So far this year, King County has had 10 domestic violence homicides. In 2021, there were 16. 

Rachelle Nesta with New Beginnings helps victims and survivors. Every year the group gets more than 10,000 calls into its hotline and serves more than 1,000 survivors and children.

“It takes an average of seven times for a survivor to leave before they're able to leave for good,” said Rachelle Nesta, director of Development at New Beginnings.

Nesta said one of the biggest misconceptions is why victims don’t leave, but she said it’s complicated with many factors at play.

“Someone controlling your life, having all that power over you, maybe you're isolated, it makes it even harder to break out of that,” said Nesta.

New Beginnings is there to help no matter how many times someone goes back.

As for England, her family and friends are asking for prayers.

“My mind keeps going back to what she would want us to do and that's pray for her and her family,” said England.

Prosecutors are asking that Tesfai does not receive bail. Court documents said he left the scene and was caught by Washington State Patrol.

Prosecutors said Tesfai has considerable resources and is the owner of at least one car dealership in King County.

His arraignment is set for August 18.

A GoFundMe has been set up to help Lucia Kashai’s children.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233, text START to 88788 or visit thehotline.org for additional guidance and resources.

Visit the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence website for additional local resources.

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