America Thayer vigil

Candles and flowers rest on the corner of Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street where Shakopee woman America Thayer was found dead the afternoon of July 28 by police.

A criminal complaint filed July 30 details the circumstances surrounding the alleged gruesome murder of a Shakopee woman at a busy residential intersection last week.

Alexis Saborit, 42, was charged in Scott County District Court with second-degree murder in the death of his long-time girlfriend, 55-year-old America Thayer.

Thayer’s decapitated body was found near Fourth Avenue and Spencer Street at 2:31 p.m. July 28 in Shakopee. Officers had been called to the area, following a report of a man who had allegedly thrown a headless body out of a vehicle.

Investigators found several people who allegedly witnessed the murder. Police also found cell phone video filmed from inside a nearby residence of the incident, court documents said.

Officers found an empty, black sheath that appeared to be for a machete-style knife in the grass near the intersection. In an alleyway about one-and-a-half blocks away, officers found a white shirt, white shoes and knife in a recycling bin. The clothing appeared to have a “blood-like substance” on them.

Police spotted Saborit near Shenandoah Parkway and Highway 101. He was eventually arrested in the parking lot of The Landing historical village, two miles from where Thayer’s body was found.

On July 29, a witness called police to report her dog had found a knife in a garden near Spencer Street and Fourth Avenue. The knife, which was nearly concealed, appeared to have been plunged in the dirt, court documents said. The knife appeared to fit the sheath found at the crime scene.

One witness said he was with Thayer and Saborit at Memorial Park at 2:15 p.m. that day. The witness told police Thayer was trying to convince Saborit to go to court so he would not get in trouble. Thayer was upset that Saborit may get into trouble for missing court, but things seemed fine between the two of them, said the witness, who added Saborit often carries a machete on him.

Saborit told investigators that he’d been dating Thayer for several years and had been at the park earlier that day. He allegedly said they were going to his court appearance together, and on the way to court, Thayer told him she wanted to end the relationship. Saborit allegedly said he used a knife to kill Thayer because she had “gone too far” in her abuse of him and in her comments about ending the relationship.

Bail in Saborit’s case was set last week at $2.5 million cash with conditions or $2.5 million non-cash bond, also with conditions. Saborit’s first court appearance is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Aug. 9. He has requested a public defender, according to Scott County Court Administration.

Community mourns

In the days since her death, friends and co-workers of Thayer have shared stories about a woman whom they described as caring, hard-working and soft-spoken.

Thayer, who was employed by MyPillow in Chaska, was remembered by co-workers as the kind of person that would never hurt a fly.

“I knew her pretty well. We didn’t hang out but when I say she liked to work, she was putting in 70 hours a week,” said Jamie Worley, MyPillow employee and Thayer’s friend.

“She would basically go there all day, go home for a little bit and come back. I went there today and went to the store and got her a rose and a teddy bear to put on her desk. When I got there I didn’t even look at any other of my coworkers,” Worley said. “I just stood at her desk with my head down. Everyone was just crying. It was a very emotional day and it still is.”

Worley remembers Thayer as a sweet and loveable person who befriended everyone. He also said Thayer moved to the United States from Cuba.

A vigil was held Thursday evening last week at the intersection were Thayer was found dead. Community members shared memories, lit candles and laid down flowers on the street corner.

“She was a really kind person who deserved better than this,” said Tori Finney, who organized the vigil alongside Walker Martinez. Thayer was a frequent customer at a Speedway gas station in Chaska where they used to work. Thayer usually purchased a can of Pepsi and a hot coffee while taking a break from her work across the street at MyPillow.

“That’s right, it was always Pepsi in a can,” Martinez said.

Criminal history

Saborit’s criminal history includes 2018 convictions of fleeing police and obstructing the legal process, a gross misdemeanor domestic assault conviction in 2017, and a third-degree DWI conviction in 2017.

Reporter Jacqueline Devine contributed to this story.

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