Dancer warned she was being bugged with a tracking device –12 days later she was murdered

Obsessed ex-Marine strip club customer stalked exotic dancer, put a tracking device on her car and ranted on social media that he was ‘taken advantage of’ before shooting her dead, say police.

“This is no joke and sometimes you think it will never be you,” Abigail Saldana warned in an Instagram video last month after discovering a tracking device had been placed on her vehicle.

Twelve days later, she was dead – allegedly shot and killed along a Texas highway by a stalker who had become obsessed with her after visiting the strip club where she worked.

Within hours of her death, 54-year-old former US Marine Stanley Szeliga was in police custody and charged with her murder.

The warning signs, it seems, had been there for some time.

The 22-year-old mother-of-one had confided in both her manager at Rick’s Cabaret strip club and her family members that a creepy customer called “Stan” was stalking and harassing her.

There was also the discovery that her car had been bugged with a tracking device.

And then there was Mr Szeliga’s own Instagram which was filled with posts and rants about the victim, claiming he had paid her thousands of dollars and accusing her of being a prostitute.

The 22-year-old exotic dancer’s fears for her safety then became a reality when she was found dead behind the wheel of her car on 26 October.

A spokesperson for Fort Worth Police Department told us that the department had not received any reports of either the tracking device being placed on her car or of Ms Saldana being stalked and harassed by Mr Szeliga prior to her death.

The spokesperson said they could not confirm whether any complaints had been made to other local law enforcement.

It is also not clear what steps – if any – Rick’s Cabaret took to protect its employee from the alleged harassment by a customer.

Requests for comment to both Rick’s Cabaret and owner RCI Hospitality Holdings by us had not been returned by the time of publication.

What happened to Abigail Saldana?

Details of the shocking slaying of the 22-year-old exotic dancer in Fort Worth, Texas, were revealed in the arrest warrant charging the customer at the club where she worked with her murder.

Police received a 911 call at around 8.40pm on 26 October from a witness who reported seeing a silver sedan speeding up before careening off an exit ramp onto a grassy area of Highway 183 near Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport.

The caller said they approached the vehicle and saw bullet holes in the car’s passenger side and a person inside – later identified as Ms Saldana – who was “not moving and unresponsive”.

Officers and medics responded to the scene, where Ms Saldana was pronounced dead.

Three gunshots were noted in the car and three shell casings and broken glass at an intersection nearby, where police believe the shooting took place before the car entered the freeway.

Officers found Ms Saldana’s passport in the car as well as clothing “consistent with those worn by exotic dancers”, the warrant states.

<p>Stanley Szeliga pictured in his mugshot after being arrested for murder</p>
Stanley Szeliga pictured in his mugshot after being arrested for murder(Fort Worth Police Department)

Rick’s strip club was within view of where the shooting took place so officers visited the club to ask if she worked there.

According to the arrest warrant, the manager confirmed Ms Saldana worked there but hadn’t been there that day.

The manager instantly pointed the officers in the direction of Mr Szeliga, telling them Ms Saldana had been stalked and harassed by a military veteran customer known only as Stan.

The manager said Ms Saldana was “frightened” of Stan and showed the officers the victim’s 14 October Instagram video where she discovered the tracker.

They also showed them the suspect’s own Instagram which was filled with posts about Ms Saldana including several where he appeared to be “irritated” by her and threatened to report her for prostitution.

While the officer was looking at the manager’s phone at around 8.46pm, he noticed a post by Mr Szeliga from just three hours earlier, the warrant says.

The post appeared to be a screenshot indicating he had paid the victim $3,000 which he claimed proved his allegations she was working as a prostitute.

“The manager indicated that Abigail was frightened of Stan because he was stalking and harassing her,” the warrant states.

The victim’s family also told police Ms Saldana had spoken of her fears that a man called Stan was stalking and harassing her.

Police tracked down the suspect and learned he owned a red Ford pickup truck.

<p>Abigail Saldana had complained of a man called Stan stalking her </p>
Abigail Saldana had complained of a man called Stan stalking her(Instagram)

Authorities said they then obtained footage from a traffic camera close to Ms Saldana’s apartment, which was around 17 miles from the scene of the shooting.

The footage revealed the suspect’s pickup “closely following” the victim’s vehicle just 17 minutes before the 911 call reporting her murder, the warrant reveals.

Police said additional surveillance footage also reveals Mr Szeliga’s car driving past the same spot close to Ms Saldana’s home on at least five other occasions, which authorities said indicates he was stalking her.

The alleged stalking ramped up in the days before her murder, the documents show, with the car captured in footage first on 13 October and then once each on 23 and 24 October.

On 25 October – the day before Ms Saldana was gunned down – the suspect’s vehicle was spotted driving by her home twice at around 1.30pm and 3pm.

Mr Szeliga was then arrested the day after the shooting – 27 October – after he agreed to meet with investigators before claiming a family member had died and failing to show up, the warrant states.

Police obtained a search warrant for his home and, after he then refused to leave the property, entered to find him on a balcony with apparently self-inflicted wounds to the neck and face, the document states.

The suspect was taken to hospital for treatment before being booked into the Tarrant County Lon Evans Corrections Center in Fort Worth.

He is being held on a $250,000 bond for murder.

Obsessive Instagram posts

Police said Mr Szeliga was a customer at Rick’s Cabaret where Ms Saldana worked as an exotic dancer and the 54-year-old’s Instagram appears to reveal a concerning obsession with the 22-year-old.

In one rambling post on 17 October, Mr Szeliga said he believed he had a “future” with Ms Saldana and that they had been “enjoying each other’s company” for the last three months.

But he claimed he was “taken advantage of” and alleged that he had paid her thousands of dollars.

“I never thought I’d be one of those guys taken advantage of. Sharing for awareness. Abigail S. and I, since July 2021, we have been enjoying each other’s company,” he wrote.

“She’s so beautiful and personable that I envisioned a future with her. But dealing with all the lies is overwhelming, I realize that’s part of your primary job as an adult entertainer.

“If you only leave your second job, being in a high-end prostitution ring we could move forward. Yes, this pays $2000 per session, but it’s illegal. And having a boyfriend whilst having sex with other men?!”

He then claimed that payments he had allegedly sent to Ms Saldana and to the strip club were for sex.

“All the payments to Abigail and RCI were for sex related activities (see below),” he wrote.

<p>Mr Szeliga posted this rambling Instagram post on 17 October </p>
Mr Szeliga posted this rambling Instagram post on 17 October(Instragam )
<p>He claimed he had believed they had a future together but was “taken advantage of"</p>
He claimed he had believed they had a future together but was “taken advantage of”(Instagram)
<p>The suspect posted images of payments he claimed to have made </p>
The suspect posted images of payments he claimed to have made(Instagram)
<p>He claimed to have paid thousands to the victim and to the strip club for sex</p>
He claimed to have paid thousands to the victim and to the strip club for sex(Instagram)

He urged other men to be “cognizant with these clubs” and warned about “damage to bank accounts”.

Mr Szeliga then shared a screenshot claiming to show payments from his account to both Ms Saldana and RCI – the owners of Rick’s.

These included alleged payments of $200, $800 and $1,000 to Abigail Amara Saldana and payments of more than $5,000, $2,600 and $2,000 to RCI Dining.

In the days after this irate post, Mr Szeliga repeatedly shared a number of other Instagram posts aimed at Ms Saldana.

On 20 October, he posted four separate Instagram posts showing screengrabs from an Instagram account not connected to Ms Saldana.

Ms Saldana – along with more than 50,000 other social media users – appears to have liked some of the posts from the account.

One of the posts reads: “I need a n**** that’s gonna choose me over his family cause blood ain’t thicker than this fat p***y.”

Mr Szeliga screen grabbed the post and highlighted Ms Saldana’s like of the post.

“Damn Abby, thought it was family first!” Mr Szeliga captioned his post. Another 54,850 people had also liked the original post, his screen grab showed.

The 54-year-old, whose social media picture is of the US Marine Corps badge, also posted several inspirational quotes in the weeks leading up to Ms Saldana’s death.

<p>Stanley Szeliga also posted several Instagram posts on 20 October of screenshots where the victim had liked posts</p>
Stanley Szeliga also posted several Instagram posts on 20 October of screenshots where the victim had liked posts(Instagram)

Bugging the victim’s car

Less than two weeks before she was shot dead in her car, Ms Saldana posted online about the discovery of the tracking device.

In the video, posted 14 October, she is seen showing the device to the camera and the location she found it on the underside of her car.

Just one day earlier, Mr Szeliga’s car was captured on surveillance footage driving close to her home for the first time, according to police documents.

“This was literally on my car like this,” Ms Saldana says in the video.

“This is why you have to be careful. I don’t know what to do moving forward with this. But this definitely looks like a tracker to me.”

She adds: “This is so crazy you guys. So crazy. Like who would do this?”

The 22-year-old urged other people to “check under your cars ladies” in the caption.

Her manager at Rick’s first showed the police officer the footage on 26 October, the arrest warrant states.

Police have since confirmed that the tracking device is part of the murder investigation.

<p>Abigail Saldana posted a video on 14 October revealing she found a tracker on her car </p>
Abigail Saldana posted a video on 14 October revealing she found a tracker on her car(Instagram)

“There is a tracker on this vehicle that we have identified,” Fort Worth police officer Tracy Carter told NBC10.

“We don’t know how long that tracker has been on. That’s something our detectives are looking into.”

Ms Saldana’s mother Jessica Contreras told the outlet her daughter had told her about the tracking device before she was killed and that she had begged her to report it to the police.

Ms Contreras said she believes her daughter knew her suspected killer from her work.

“I believe that he was a customer at a bar, that’s all I know,” she told WFAA.

She vowed to face her daughter’s alleged killer in court.

“He took her away from me, and I’m gonna make sure every time he has a court date, he will see my face there,” she said.

“He’s gonna see that Abby was never alone.”

Ms Contreras said her daughter had moved from the family home in Wichita Falls to Dallas just a few years ago with her five-year-old son.

The young mother had also trained to be a brow artist and had a social media account for this business.

Ms Contreras described her daughter as a “great person”, a “hard worker” and someone with “a lot of love”.

Now, she said her grandson will grow up without his mother: “Her not being here, her son without a mother, that’s the hardest part every day.”


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