"I couldn't save her," Savannah Burford's mother, Julia Cutter, said in local news reports

By Chris Harris
January 10, 2020 12:49 PM
Savannah Burford
Credit: Go Fund Me

Authorities in Tennessee have filed first-degree murder and aggravated assault charges against an 18-year-old man, accusing him of stabbing a 19-year-old female co-worker to death with her mother mere feet away.

Online records confirm that Gabriel Enrique Turcios is being held on $1 million bond for allegedly killing Savannah Burford at the Sunliner Diner in Pigeon Forge Wednesday night.

Burford’s mother, Julia Cutter, spoke to WVLT and WATE, and said she was waiting outside the diner, in her car, waiting to pick up her seventh and youngest child from her waitressing shift at the ’50s-style diner.

According to Pigeon Forge Police, Burford and Turcios, whose job at the diner was unclear, were talking when he allegedly started stabbing her.

Cutter told both stations she witnessed the entire stabbing, not realizing what was happening until it was too late.

“I happened to look … and she’s walking towards the car … and then Gabe was right there,” Cutter said to WVLT. “I didn’t know what he was doing … and then she fell.”

Talking to WATE, she continued, “When I got there, she couldn’t even scream when that guy was stabbing her. That’s how fast he did it. She didn’t even scream.”

Cutter explained she ran to her daughter and tried to pick her up. “You could tell she was trying to say something to me, but the blood was gurgling out of her mouth,” she said to WLVT. “Blood was floating all the way down the whole sidewalk.”

As her daughter was fading, Cutter told her over and over again she loved her.

“I couldn’t save her,” Cutter said to WVLT. “I took off my … coat and I tried to stop the bleeding, and I couldn’t.”

A motive for the killing has not been released. Her family believes Turcios was stalking her, according to WATE.

Burford was an aspiring singer who was described as shy, and “the sweetest girl you’d ever meet.”

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Turcios has not entered pleas to the charges against him. Information for his lawyer was unavailable at press time.

A GoFundMe campaign has been established online to help cover the costs of Savannah’s funeral.