A man flagged down San Diego police near the downtown headquarters early Tuesday morning, telling them his wife’s body was inside his car.
Now, officials say Americus de Orenday, 44, is considered a suspect in the woman's death, which the San Diego County Medical Examiner's office confirms was caused by strangulation.
The medical examiner was called to the scene, at 14th Street and Broadway near the SDPD headquarters, just after 1:30 a.m. Tuesday.
According to authorities, De Orenday approached two plainsclothes detectives walking toward the police station and told them his wife was dead inside his Ford F-150 pickup truck.
Police described his demeanor as calm as detectives examined the vehicle.
Detectives found a woman’s body on the floor board behind the driver’s seat. Initially, police said there was no apparent trauma to her body, but officers did say they spotted blood on the floor board.
The woman has been identified as 40-year-old Mirella Alas De Orenday.
There was a garden hose attached from the vehicle’s exhaust into the car’s rear window, officials said.
Detective Jorge Duran told NBC 7 San Diego there appeared to be a suicide attempt, but they are not sure who made the attempt and if it resulted in the woman's death.
Homicide investigators said De Orenday was sent to the hospital for several cuts on his arm. He is now in jail on suspicion of murder.