The woman found dead outside the Longwood restaurant died as a result of a beating and stabbing.
Sarah Rucker was found in the parking lot of a Miami Subs in Longwood at 5:30 a.m. on Monday.
Preliminary autopsy results were revealed Tuesday, indicating Rucker, 42, died by an “irregular-edged” weapon – believed to be a knife – which significantly ruptured her throat.
Investigators say it’s apparent Rucker struggled to protect herself as defensive wounds were found on her upperbody, including her arms, hands and chest.
The victim’s estranged husband Dwayne White, 40, was arrested at 3:31 p.m. on Monday after forensic evidence linked him to the crime scene.
Hours before her death, Rucker and White had a violent altercation at her residence in Deltona.
During the argument, Rucker called 911 three times. The first two times, she is heard yelling at White. Dispatchers attempted to get her attention but were unsuccessful.
During her first attempt to contacting the police, she is heard screaming, “Wayne, stop,” before the call was disconnected.
The 911 dispatcher proceeded to call her back but there was no response.
White left Rucker’s home in a black Grand Prix, allowing her to reach a member of the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office in her final 911 call.
“[He] knocked me down, threw the beer on me, took my phone because I called the police,” Rucker said in the call.
According to Rucker, White had stolen two cell phones prior to the incident on Monday.
Rucker explained to the dispatcher that White was recently released from jail for domestic violence.
“He beat me the last time, [and] he ran away for months,” she said to the dispatcher. “Then he turned himself in or got caught. Now he’s back, and he just attacked me.”
White frequently went to her home in the middle of the night, she said, which frightened her, and referred to him as “jealous, irrational and crazy.”
After pushing her down, Rucker injured her head, but Rucker declined ambulance assistance.
White has been arrested on seven charges, including battery and robbery. He is currently being held at the Volusia County Jail without bond.
Earlier today, a warrant was obtained by investigators charging White with first-degree murder.
Rucker worked as a surgical technician at the Florida Hospital Altamonte. Ashley White, a spokesperson for the hospital, said they are mourning the loss of their employee.
“The Florida Hospital Altamonte family is grieving the unexpected and tragic loss of Sarah Rucker, a valued member of our surgical team,” said White. “Sarah will be deeply missed as our thoughts and prayers are with family and friends during this difficult time.”
White and Rucker had three kids together, whom she leaves behind.