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Police: Suspect in dismembered body case found dead

By Cleve R. Wootson Jr.
cwootson@charlotteobserver.com

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police say a man they believe killed and dismembered a woman, then left her body in an SUV parked in the Hidden Valley neighborhood, has committed suicide.

Detectives identified the woman as Mara Garcia, who turned 36 on the day she was found dead. They have identified Lenin Noel Turcios Corea, 29, as a suspect in Garcia’s killing.

Officers haven’t given more details about what led to Garcia’s death. They said Garcia and Turcios were in a romantic relationship and lived together.

Garcia’s body was found Sunday after neighbors on Dove Tree Lane in northern Charlotte noticed a foul smell coming from an abandoned Toyota 4Runner and dialed 911. Officers had the SUV towed to police headquarters and found the body inside.

Garcia’s body was so badly decomposed that investigators had a hard time identifying her, according to WCNC Charlotte, the Observer’s news partner.

The suspect’s face was splashed across television news stations and newspapers this week as investigators tried to learn his identity. The photos appear to be video camera stills snapped as he pushed a cart at a Walmart store.

Police say those images helped identify the suspect, who “was discovered deceased from what detectives are investigating as an apparent suicide,” according to a statement from police.

The investigation is ongoing, and police encourage anyone with information about the incident to call 704-432-TIPS to speak directly to a Homicide Unit Detective. Tipsters can also call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600.

Wootson: 704-358-5046; Twitter: @CleveWootson
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