Police Officer Mark Turner
On March 25, 2015, the Communications Unit received a call from a Tustin resident whose sister had arrived at her residence saying she had killed and dismembered her mother-in-law, and was asking for advice on what to do with the body. The suspect then left the residence in a white or tan SUV. The suspect’s sister stated she had a history of mental illness, and had attempted to commit suicide in the past.
Officer Turner arrived at the distraught sister’s residence and asked her to contact the suspect via cell phone. The suspect answered the call and stated she was near Tustin Ranch Road and Greenway Drive. Officer Turner responded to the location, and saw the suspect outside of the vehicle. When she saw him, she got back into the vehicle and attempted to drive away. He activated his lights and sirens and the vehicle stopped. He ordered the suspect out of the vehicle at gunpoint. She complied but appeared distraught, confused, and was not obeying commands.
Officer Turner remained extremely calm, giving her very clear directions, which she eventually followed. She was detained and placed in a patrol car. Other officers arrived on scene to search the vehicle. They located two bloody knives in a bag that was placed on top of several other suspicious bags. The scene was locked down and the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department (LASD) was notified as the initial crime occurred in their jurisdiction.
When the scene was secure, Officer Turner was able to befriend the suspect, obtaining the whereabouts of her husband and children, who were confirmed to be safe. He continued to gain her trust, and while speaking with her under Miranda, she eventually confessed to the murder. The confession was recorded with the in-vehicle audio/visual system (MAVS).
Officer Turner gained the suspect’s trust by relating to her, listening to her, and even consoling her, which eventually led to her confession and the confirmation of the safety her immediate family. LASD Homicide Investigators were impressed with the way the situation was handled, and gave Officer Turner and Tustin PD high regards. For Officer Turner’s dedication, observation skills, and his patience and compassion on this case, he has been selected as the recipient of the Chamber of Commerce Officer of the Month Award for May 2015. Congratulations Officer Turner!