Giving us one intriguing true-crime tale after another, NBC’s ‘Dateline’ has an extensive archive of in-depth investigative journalism that really does showcase storytelling at its best. With interviews with everyone involved in the case, along with narration, it serves up real-life mysteries that have shocked the country to its core. Its episode ‘The Dead of Night,’ chronicling the brutal murder of LaJoya McCoy, is no different. Transpiring in mid-2015, no one even knew that she was dead until about a week after it happened, but despite that, the investigators managed to gather enough evidence to solve the case quickly. Curious to know all the details? Here’s everything that we know.
How Did LaJoya McCoy Die?
LaJoya McCoy, a native of Pasadena, California, at the age of 31, was living a good life. As a single mother of 2, she was working full-time as an auditor for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and was the owner of Joya Boutique in Monterey Park. Yes, she was busy most of the time, but she always managed to make time for her children, family, and friends, all the while never missing out on an appointment. Therefore, when June 15, 2015, rolled around and no one had heard from her in days, they got worried. When people tried reaching LaJoya at work, her co-workers explained that she hadn’t shown up and had missed quite a few important meetings. In fact, the last that anyone had heard from her was on the night of June 9. And so, the local authorities were informed.
That day, the Monrovia Police Department (MPD) responded to the 800 block of West Olive Avenue to do a welfare check on LaJoya. But when they came across her residence and saw signs of foul play, they immediately called to obtain a search warrant for the property and asked for the assistance of the Sheriff Homicide Bureau in what they initially thought was a missing person’s case. During a grid search the next day, on June 16, they found her car on the 200 block of West Cypress Avenue, about a mile away from her apartment, and inside it, they discovered her slain body, covered with a blanket and a child’s car seat. Her autopsy report confirmed that she had been strangled to death with a rope or cord and was stabbed multiple times on June 10, 2015.
Who Killed LaJoya McCoy?
On August 27, 2015, more than a month after LaJoya’s passing, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s homicide detectives arrested 45-year-old Jose Roberto Turner, her ex-boyfriend and the father of her two children, in connection to the matter. By this point, their children were with him. The couple had been together for about a decade, separating just two years prior to the homicide, which Jose was not happy about. After LaJoya’s remains were found, her friends and family had actually come forward to state how she’d been worried about her well-being in recent times due to some of the strange things that were happening to her. They said her tires had been slashed and that, more than once, she felt as if somebody had been inside when she came home, especially as some documents had gone missing.
Initially, they had all thought that LaJoya was misplacing things because she was spreading herself too thin, considering all her responsibilities. But in hindsight, that was not at all the case. She knew she was in trouble, but she could never have imagined how much. Following this, the investigators began looking into her personal life and belongings, where they discovered the looming presence of her ex-boyfriend. According to witnesses, Jose had displayed stalker-ish behavior and jealousy when LaJoya was in the presence of other men, which had rekindled as she had a prospective date. And, in his journal, he’d even expressed his anger at her and talked about how he’d kill her just shortly before her murder. Jose’s downfall, though, was his behavior.
When LaJoya’s family and the investigators were looking for her and trying to solve her case, Jose refused to cooperate or help out in any way, shape, or form, which displayed a consciousness of guilt. Therefore, when forensic evidence gathered from the scene of the crime and from underneath LaJoya’s fingernails resulted in a DNA profile that undoubtedly matched his, directly connecting him to her death, he was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. Then there’s also the fact there was a bloodstained note in her vehicle essentially implying he was stalking/harassing her and another ex came forward to publicly accuse him of being a monster. Even the items missing from LaJoya’s home were found in his possession. Jose was held without bail until his case went to court, and then, on June 19, 2017, after a brief trial, he was convicted of the charge against him.
Read More: Where Is Jose Roberto Turner Now?