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Former boyfriend of slain Monrovia woman is arrested on suspicion of murder

The former boyfriend of Lajoya McCoy and father of their two children was arrested Thursday on suspicion of murder in connection with the Monrovia woman's disappearance and death in mid-June. 

Jose Roberto Turner, a 47-year-old black man from Pasadena, is being held without bail,  Los Angeles County sheriff's Lt. Victor Lewandowski said Friday.  

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office charged Turner with one count of murder on Monday. He is scheduled to be arraigned on Thursday, Sept. 3, in the Department D of the Los Angeles Superior Court Pasadena Courthouse. 

According to IMDb, Turner is an actor and producer who directed and acted in the 50-minute film "Jose Turner's Untold Urban Tales: The Transition." He also wrote and directed the play "A Fight For Love," which was performed at the Pasadena Playhouse in 2012.

McCoy and Turner lived together for many years and have two children, ages 5 and 9. The children were staying with their father on June 10, the night McCoy and her car disappeared from her Monrovia apartment in the 800 block of West Olive Avenue.

After friends and family reported her missing, Monrovia police checked McCoy's apartment on June 15 and found evidence of foul play. Investigators found McCoy's badly decomposed body inside her silver Toyota Camry the following day, in the 200 block of West Cypress Avenue, about a mile from her home. 

The Sheriff's Department has released few details about the case or how McCoy died. Lewandowski said Friday that investigators wouldn't discuss their evidence until the Los Angeles County district attorney's office files charges against Turner. He could not be reached for comment Monday and the district attorney's office has not released any information about the case.

Turner has been a suspect in the case from the beginning, Lewandowski said Friday. Friends and family reported that McCoy had been harassed and threatened by Turner after they separated. 

Investigators laid their case out before a judge Wednesday night so they could have a warrant to arrest Turner on Thursday morning. Family members have taken over care of the children, Lewandowski said.

"There are tactical reasons why we do certain things, but the children were a big part of it," he said. "There are just certain things you have to keep in mind when you have one parent who is deceased and another parent being taken into custody for the death."

McCoy juggled a full-time job as an auditor for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health with raising her two children. She also ran her own businesses on the side.

The case is still under investigation, Lewandowski said. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sheriff's Department Homicide Bureau at (323) 890-5500. Those wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-8477.

This article was updated on Sept. 1 to report charges being filed against Turner.

Contact the Homicide Report. And follow @latimeshomicide on Twitter.

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