The driver of a petroleum truck has been arrested for the death of Martha Rodezno, whose body was found along the 5 freeway in Santa Ana hours after she left a family gathering in Mission Viejo in a huff in December.
Santa Ana homicide detectives arrested 33-year-old Jaqwun Laerin Turner at his Hawthorne residence Wednesday on suspicion of hit and run with permanent injury or death.
The body of Rodenzo, 51, of Los Angeles, was discovered by a motorist on the 5's northbound transition ramp to the westbound 22 freeway around 2:45 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 8. She'd apparently walked out angry from a family gathering in Mission Viejo around midnight and was last seen on foot in the area of Avery Parkway and the 5.
"We don't know if she was in a vehicle and jumped out of the vehicle. We don't know if she was thrown out of the vehicle," Santa Ana Police Corporal Anthony Bertagna said at the time of the mother of three children.
Detectives obtained evidence that showed Rodenzo getting into a tanker truck driven by Turner in the area of Avery and the 5, according to a new Santa Ana Police statement, which adds a witness saw the same truck heading north on the 22 freeway around 2:43 a.m., when someone was ejected from the passenger side. The tanker then continued on the northbound 5 without stopping.
Turner was booked into the city jail.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.