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Des Moines police identify man stabbed to death in city's 3rd homicide of 2023

A 33-year-old man was found at the scene with stab wounds in his chest Saturday night. Police later located and arrested the 28-year-old suspect, Jason Parker.

DES MOINES, Iowa — One man is dead and another is in custody after a late-night stabbing Saturday that Des Moines police say is the city's third homicide of 2023.

According to Des Moines police, officers responded to a report of a stabbing on the 3200 block of 30th Street around 11:30 p.m. Saturday. They discovered 33-year-old Michael James Clayton of Des Moines, who had been stabbed in the chest at the scene.

Witnesses and police personnel performed CPR until Des Moines Fire Department medics arrived. The victim was then taken to an area hospital, where he died from his injuries. 

28-year-old Jason Parker of Des Moines was detained at a residential home on Boston Avenue right after 3 a.m. Sunday. He is charged with first-degree murder.

Parker allegedly stabbed the victim in front of multiple witnesses and was caught on security camera leaving the scene, according to police.

Police also said they recovered a knife used in the murder at the scene.

Investigators say they're currently unsure about what exactly led to the stabbing.

"The one thing that's missing is any idea of motive, and that's not uncommon in cases. But you have someone who apparently, without any provocation, stabbed another person and then ran from the scene, and everybody wants to know why," said Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police.

Local 5 will update this story as more information becomes available. Download the We Are Iowa app or subscribe to Local 5's "5 Things to Know" email newsletter for the latest.

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