West Campus murder update
Austin police are urging those involved in violent relationships to seek help. This after a man was arrested for the death of his boyfriend.
On Friday morning Austin police say 20-year-old Bryan Canchola and his boyfriend, 18-year-old Stephen Sylvester got into an argument that turned physical inside their west campus apartment.
The couple's roommate told police he heard banging and crashing from the couple's bedroom and Sylvester repeatedly asking Canchola to stop.
He then says he saw Sylvester with blood pouring down the back of his neck.
The roommate drove Sylvester to a hospital. Sgt. Jerry Bauzon says Sylvester left without treatment.
"After the hospital the roommate goes back to the apartment complex and the door to I believe a bedroom was locked again so at that point the roommate calls 9-1-1. And while he's leaving to call 9-1-1, the suspect calls 9-1-1 as well and he tells police my boyfriend and I were involved in a fight, he's bleeding and he is unconscious," said Bauzon.
Sylvester was pronounced deceased an hour later. The medical examiner's office ruled his death a homicide resulting from trauma to the head. In addition to bleeding on the brain, a bone was broken in Sylvester's neck which is a sign of strangulation. Sylvester's dog was also found to have sustained a strangulation injury.
Canchola was arrested and charged with murder marking the third family violence homicide case in Austin this year.
According to APD, last year five of 31 total homicide deaths were attributed to family violence. In 2013, the stats were higher with 8 deaths out of 25.
"My advice for someone in a relationship, in an abusive relationship is they don't need to be there. There is help out there for them to seek," said Bauzon. "I believe that no one's life should be in danger. No one should fear for their safety being involved in a relationship where there is mutual respect and love between the two."
Canchola as we've learned was enrolled at St. Mary's university in San Antonio as of the spring semester. His major was speech communication. Sylvester once attended Marble Falls High School.
SafePlace encourages those involved in dangerous relationships to call their hotline 512-267-SAFE. Counselors are ready to assist you and can help get you into shelter. Click here for more information on SafePlace.
According to SafePlace, men account for 2% of the 700-800 victims assisted with shelter services and 5% of the 14-hundred who utilize counseling services each year.