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UCI student, wanted for allegedly trying to kill his wife, is found dead

December 18, 2010 |  3:33 pm

Gregory Scott Turner, a 33-year-old UCI student who was wanted for allegedly trying to kill his wife, was found dead inside his truck in the San Juan Capistrano area Friday, according to university spokesman Tom Vasich.

Officers with the UCI Police Department discovered Turner's blue Chevrolet pickup parked behind a mixed-use industrial building around 4:30 p.m., Vasich said. The location of the building was not available.

"They found him dead inside the truck from an apparent suicide," Vasich said. It was not known if a weapon was recovered from inside the truck, he said. Police are awaiting an autopsy from the Orange County coroner's office to determine the cause of death.

Turner, an undergraduate who was studying criminology and law, was wanted for attempted murder by strangulation during a domestic violence dispute, police said. On Wednesday he "strangled and beat his wife into unconsciousness, then fled," Vasich said.

The assault was reported by Turner's 7-year-old daughter, Vasich said.

Less than a week earlier, police had responded to a similar incident at Turner's campus home on Verano Place, Vasich said. Turner was arrested Dec. 9 and booked on suspicion of assault.

Police said that on Wednesday, Turner fled from his home when officers arrived.

His wife, Ketra Batiste-Turner, 32, was taken to a local hospital. She was released Friday. The couple's two children, ages 5 and 7, were placed in protective custody. Batiste-Turner and the children are expected to be reunited in the next few days.

Officers began homing in on Turner on Friday when they were able to triangulate his location with the use of his cellphone's signal. "It wasn't an exact location, but it gave officers a general area," Vasich said. "They later found the truck and discovered his body."

UCI police are continuing their investigation into Turner's death.

-- Ruben Vives