Savannah woman's murder shocks neighbors

By Michelle Paynter - bio | email

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - A Savannah woman, pregnant and about to get married, was killed on vacation in Puerto Rico.

Sara Kuszak was kidnapped and murdered yesterday during a morning jog in eastern Puerto Rico. Kuszak and her fiance, Cheshire McIntosh, traveled a lot. Kuszak just arrived in Puerto Rico on Tuesday, McInosth was already there working as a ship's captain.

Police arrested Eliezer Navedo. They said Navedo confessed to grabbing Kuszak while she was jogging, then pushed her into the trunk of his car.

Kuszak used her cell phone to try to call for help. Police found her body hours later, her throat had been slashed. Puerto Rican authorities were able to track Kuszak's cell phone and that led them to Navedo.

Kuszak moved to Savannah from California five years ago after she met Cheshire McIntosh. McIntosh and his family are lifelong Savannahians.

Many of the couple's neighbors learned about Kuszak's murder this morning and are still in shock about what happened to this 35-year-old expectant mother.

"It was a shock, really quite a shock and it saddened my wife and me very much," said neighbor Irving Victor.

"Very shocked, very shocked," said Debbie Johnson. Johnson lives across the street. "Knowing that she was pregnant, expecting in May or June."

Johnson has known Kuszak and McIntosh since they moved into their E. 48th Street home a few years ago.

"They stayed gone a lot when they were in it was a casual hello across the street," Johnson said.

Neighbors said Kuszak, a sous chef, always made a point to visit them at Christmas time.

"She baked some goodies and brought them over and told us she was pregnant and said they were going to be here for a little bit this time," Johnson recalled. "So they were working quite a bit on there to make their little nursery."

The couple was planning to get married March 14 in the British Virgin Islands.

Irving Victor and his wife live around the corner. They couldn't believe such a tragedy would hit so close to home.

"It's one of those things you could never conceive of in your wildest imagination, something like this happening to anyone at anytime," said Victor.

The Victors, like Debbie Johnson, hope Puerto Rican authorities punish the suspect to the fullest extent of the law.

"It's a double murder really," Victor said.

"I just hope justice is going to be done. He's taken two lives and destroyed a family of lives," Johnson.

And it has saddened those who knew Kuszak, a woman with so much to live for.