SALT LAKE CITY -- (KUTV) — The family of a young woman stabbed to death on the streets of Salt Lake on Wednesday night say they are in shock and their hearts are broken.
Candace Rose Samples, 20, was killed behind the Dollar Tree store located near 500 North and 300 West. Police say the suspect also stabbed a man who is now in the hospital in critical condition. The suspect is still on the loose.
“She was one of the kindest-hearted people I knew. She had such a big heart,” said Anette Atwood, who was Candace’s legal guardian and raised her since she was four years old. She added:
She wouldn’t hurt a fly. Can’t imagine she would instigate anything that would have someone want to hurt her like that.
Anette and her husband, Quito, say they’ve been estranged from Candace since August of 2017 after she left and didn’t want to come home.
“She didn’t like having rules to live by. She wanted to live by her own rules and not answer to anybody,” said Anette. “She really struggled with any kind of authority.”
The Atwoods say Candace chose to live on the streets and was homeless at the time she was murdered. Police told 2News there was some kind of altercation that resulted in the stabbing, but didn’t release any of the details at the time.
“All we know is she had a run-in with this man earlier in the day, and he found her in the camp that night and stabbed her. My understanding is, the guy who was with her was trying to protect her and got stabbed,” Anette said.
Regardless of her lifestyle and the choices she made, the Atwoods say they raised Candace as their own daughter, loved her, and did everything they could to give her a good life.
“We loved her dearly,” Quito said. “She lived the life she wanted to live and we couldn’t control it.”
“Her whole family was here with open arms waiting for her to come back,” Anette said.