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Truck Driver Arrested in Death of Woman Found on Santa Ana Freeway

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Police have arrested a 33-year-old Hawthorne man in connection with the death of a woman whose body was found on a Santa Ana Freeway interchange last December.


Jaqwun Laerin Turner was arrested on suspicion of hit-and-run in the death of a woman whose body was found on a freeway interchange in Santa Ana on Dec. 8, 2013. (Credit: Santa Ana Police Department)

Martha Rodezno, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene on Dec. 8, 2013 on the connector road from the northbound Santa Ana Freeway to the westbound Garden Grove Freeway.

Investigators initially believed Rodezno was either hit by a car or thrown from a car. However, a subsequent examination of her body by coroners officials indicated her death was not consistent with injuries incurred when a person is struck by a vehicle moving at a high rate of speed.

“Our victim was at a family function in the city of Mission Viejo” on Saturday night, Cpl. Anthony Bertagna, spokesman for the Santa Ana Police Department said in December. “Shortly before midnight, she got upset about something. She left on foot. She was last seen by independent witnesses at Avery Parkway and the 5 Freeway.”


A woman’s body was found on a freeway interchange in Santa Ana on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2013.

Detectives later obtained evidence that showed Rodezno getting into a Petroleum Tanker driven by Jaqwun Laerin Turner, according to a news release from police.

A witness reported seeing the tanker traveling northbound on the I-5 at the 22 Freeway when a person was ejected from the passenger side of the trucker, the release stated. The witness said the truck just kept going.

Turner was arrested at his home Wednesday and booked on suspicion of hit-and-run with permanent injury or death.