Teen Killed in Love Triangle with Teacher


Arizona–A 48-year-old female math teacher was romantically involved with a Chandler high school student when her 20-year-old boyfriend walked in on them in her bedroom, police reported Tuesday. This love triangle resulted in the boyfriend stabbing the high school student to death after he found his girlfriend naked, and the high school student in his boxer shorts, in the woman’s bedroom around 2:40am on Friday.

Sixto Balbuena was on leave from the Navy in California when he discovered the couple, he told police. Samuel Valdivia began to apologize before Balbuena started to throw things and physically assualt Valdivia, said the police in a probable-cause statement. He said he never meant to kill Valdivia, but just wanted teach him a lesson. He stabbed Valdivia in the lower side with a kitchen knife and told the police that the “blade went in like going into butter.” Valdivia later died at a hospital.

Balbuena also threw Tamara Hofmann, his girlfriend, to the floor demanding to know how long she had been cheating on him.

According to police, Ms. Hofmann was Valdivia’s math teacher at El Dorado High School in Chandler, but had previously been Balbuenas’s teacher when he attend Marcos de Niza High School in Tempe.

Balbuena felt immediate remorse once he stabbed Valdivias and saw him struggling to breathe on the floor. He then dialed 911.

Police arrived and saw Balbuena covered in blood and arrested him on a charge of second-degree murder. He confessed to the killing and remained jailed on $100,000 bond. As of Tuesday he did not yet have a lawyer.

Apparently Balbuena had called Hofmann to tell her he was coming to visit but she never answered his phone calls. When he arrived at the door there was also no answer so he entered via an unlocked door when he heard noises from the bedroom. He believed something was wrong so he grabbed a knife before entering.

Hofmann and Balbuena had been investigated in 2006, when Balbuena was 17 years old. They were in a car when police found that Balbuena had possession of Ms. Hofmann’s bra. He then identified himself as his older brother and told police that he was a family friend of Hoffman’s, attending a soccer game with the consent of the parents.

“When questioned about Sixto (Balbuena) being in possession of her bra, Hofmann reported she had changed clothes in her car while at the soccer game because she was cold, and she told Sixto to put her clothes in the back of the car after she was done,” according to the report. “Hofmann said she did not know Sixto had taken her bra.”

Both Hofmann and Balbuena denied being sexually involved, so the police had closed the case.


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