Former mixed martial arts fighter Phil Baroni has been arrested in Mexico for allegedly killing his girlfriend, the prosecutors' office in the Pacific coast state of Nayarit said Wednesday.
The office said a woman was found dead on Jan. 1 in the beach town of San Fernando, just north of the resort of Puerto Vallarta. The office identified the suspect only by his nationality, American, and his first name in a statement. But a state official later confirmed his last name.
Baroni Told Cops Girlfriend Slipped and Hit Her Head After He Pushed Her
Baroni, 46, was arrested by State Tourist Police on New Year's Day after he flagged down police officers for help because his girlfriend was unresponsive in their hotel room in San Francisco, Nayarit, better known as San Pancho, according to Mexican newspaper Tribuna de la Bahía. San Francisco is located just north of Puerto Vallarta.
According to authorities, the woman, identified as Paola, was found in bed, covered only by a sheet, with numerous bruises, the outlet reported. There were no signs of life.
Baroni allegedly told police that around 3 p.m. he was smoking marijuana and drinking beer inside his hotel room when he started arguing with his girlfriend after she revealed she cheated on him.
Baroni allegedly told police that he then asked her to shower, but she refused, which is when he grabbed her and tossed her into the shower, where she hit her head and slipped on the floor causing her to hit and injure her head again, the newspaper reported.
Authorities allege Baroni said he then helped her onto the bed and brought her a blanket when she complained she was cold before asking him to bring her cigarettes and beer, the outlet reports. When he came back to the room with the cigarettes, he got into bed with Paola, whom he believed to be sleeping, according to authorities. He tried to wake her but she did not move.
Photos Show Baroni's Reddened Knuckles
In photos published to Facebook by Mexican outlet Observando En La Bahía, a photo shows a man's reddened knuckles.
The outlet also noted that Baroni's girlfriend had died due to injuries suffered to the face, arms, torso, legs and other parts of the body. An autopsy is pending to determine Paola's cause of death. The woman's remains will then be returned to her family, according to Tribuna de la Bahía.
Local authorities alerted the Public Ministry of the incident, according to MMA Junkie, and Baroni is currently in custody at the Juzgado Administrativo de Valle de Banderas. A case of homicide has been registered against the former UFC fighter.