A California man was arrested for murder Thursday after he allegedly cut off a woman’s head with a sword, authorities said.

Deputies from the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office found the victim dead at around 11:50 a.m. in San Carlos after being flagged down by a witness, law enforcement sources told KNTV.

Her head had been chopped off by a sword, the sources told the local outlet.

The suspect — whose name wasn’t immediately released — knew the victim, but their exact relationship wasn’t clear, the report said.

He was taken into custody after he returned to the scene.

San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Eamonn Allen said during an afternoon media briefing that a “stabbing instrument” had been used, without specifying what kind, according to the outlet. He did not provide additional details.

A general view of police lights as seen in Fort Lee, NJ on June 5, 2021.
A California man was arrested after he allegedly cut off a woman’s head with a sword.
Christopher Sadowski

“Anytime someone loses their life, it’s certainly a tragedy,” Allen told reporters at a press conference. “As far as the shocking nature of it, I do know that the deputies that first arrived on scene were a little beset by the scene. We are providing them peer support. We are also providing support for the witnesses that were on scene as well because there were several civilian witnesses.”

Authorities said the incident seems to be isolated and that there is no threat to the community. 

San Carlos is about halfway between San Francisco and San Jose.

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