Crime - Sacto 911

South Lake Tahoe police seek knife in attempted murder case

South Lake Tahoe police are asking for the public’s help finding a large knife believed to have been the weapon in an attempted murder case.

Thomas Payne, 36, is accused of cutting his wife’s throat with a large knife Wednesday. The woman was taken to the hospital with injuries that were life-threatening, and Payne was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, according to a Police Department news release.

Investigators believe the weapon was discarded as the suspect fled the crime scene before police arrived. Police say extensive searches of the initial scene and surrounding areas with the assistance of law enforcement canines have failed to turn up the knife.

The weapon is described as about 10 inches in length, with a blade about 6 inches long and a 4-inch handle. The knife has ornate etchings of an elk and/or bear, although police say they have no clear description of the weapon’s color or the specific location of the etched images. They say the knife likely was sheathed in a nylon cover, and may have been placed under the end of a fallen tree root or log.

Investigators suspect the knife was discarded in the area outlined on the accompanying map.

Anyone who discovers the knife is asked to leave it undisturbed to preserve evidence and immediately call the South Lake Tahoe Police Department at (530) 542-6100.

Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.