Detectives are trying to determine a possible motive for Sunday stabbing

By Chris Harris
Updated October 20, 2015 06:00 PM
Credit: North Oregon Regional Correctional Facility/AP

Police in The Dalles, Oregon, have arrested a woman who they allege stabbed her husband of 40 years on Sunday while visiting him at a living facility for war veterans.

The Dalles Police Department’s Chief Jay Waterbury tells PEOPLE that Esther Wilkerson, 70, is being held without bail at the Northern Oregon Regional Corrections Facility on murder and weapons charges.

Waterbury refused to discuss possible motives for the knifing, which occurred just after 4 p.m. on Sunday at the Oregon Veterans’ Home, where the alleged victim, 67-year-old James Wilkerson, had been residing the last two years.

The accused, who stands 4 feet, 9 inches and weighs 80 pounds, allegedly carried out the attack with a 6-inch filet knife.

The victim had served more than two decades with the Navy and was a veteran of the Vietnam War.

Wilkerson’s attorney, Jack Morris, could not be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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