San Diego

Marine Killed in Lemon Grove Dreamed of Being a Drill Instructor: Wife

The U.S. Marine who was found dead in Lemon Grove Friday dreamed of being a drill instructor, according to his wife.

Sgt. Christopher Truax Jr., 21, was found inside a stopped car on Pacific Avenue near the Lemon Grove Square Shopping Center shortly after midnight on Friday.

Truax was in the passenger's seat and bleeding from a gunshot wound, investigators said. 

While homicide investigators question witnesses and search for leads in what happened that morning, Truax's wife, Alexia, is mourning the loss of "a remarkable man, lover and father." 

"His dream was always to become a drill instructor," she told NBC 7. "He told me since the day we first started talking, about his dream to become a drill instructor."

Truax was stationed at Marine Corps Air Station, Miramar, the San Diego County Sheriff's Department said.

“We join Sergeant Christopher Truax's family in mourning the loss of a loved one," said Lt. Col. James Bauch, commanding officer MWSS 373. "He was a valued Brother-in-Arms to all who served with him and will be missed. We wish them comfort as they navigate the difficult days ahead."

No bullet holes or shell casings were found in the car.

A woman, who was in the driver's seat of the car, was not considered a suspect, investigators said.

Truax was from Horseheads, New York and was a food service specialist with the Marine Wing Support Squadron-373 based out of MCAS Miramar.

His former high school wrestling coach Eric Wilson described Truax to WETM 18 News in New York as someone who sought out challenges and always delivered beyond expectations.

"I could see all the quality characteristics in him for that," Wilson said of Truax's career choice. He was a team leader, he had a lot of good work ethic, he never gave up and he was a true competitor."

He joined the Marine Corps in July 2014 and had previously deployed with the 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit. He had been awarded the Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medal. 

He was married and has a one-year-old son.

"You were my companion, my lover and friend," she said of the Marine sergeant. 

"My heart hurts so much and it kills me to know I will never be able to hear your voice again," Alexia said.

San Diego County Medical Examiner's Office ruled the death a homicide, Williams said.

Detectives have no motive or suspect in the case. 

Anyone with information about this incident can call the Sheriff's Homicide Unit at (858) 285-6330 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477.

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