LaJoya McCoy was a 31-year-old mother of two who was strangled and stabbed to death by her ex-boyfriend in 2015. Her murder shocked the community of Monrovia, California, and was featured on NBC’s Dateline. But what happened to her children, James and Savannah, who were left orphaned by the crime? Here is what we know about their fate and the case that took their mother’s life.
The Case of LaJoya McCoy: A Tragic Death
Who was LaJoya McCoy?
LaJoya McCoy was a successful and ambitious woman who worked as an auditor for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health and owned a clothing boutique in Monterey Park. She was also a loving and devoted mother to her two children, James and Savannah, who were 9 and 5 years old at the time of her death. She was described by her family and friends as a cheerful, outgoing, and generous person who always had a smile on her face.
How did she die?
LaJoya McCoy was killed by her ex-boyfriend, Jose Roberto Turner, on June 10, 2015. Turner, who was also the father of her children, had a history of being abusive, possessive, and threatening towards McCoy. He was unhappy about their breakup and the custody arrangement of their kids. He went to her apartment that night, where they had an argument that turned violent. He strangled her with a rope or a cord and stabbed her multiple times. He then put her body in her car, covered it with a blanket and a child’s car seat, and drove it to a nearby street, where he abandoned it.
Where was her body found?
LaJoya McCoy’s body was found on June 16, 2015, in her silver Toyota on the 200 block of West Cypress Avenue, about a mile away from her apartment. She had been reported missing by her family on June 15, after she missed some appointments and failed to respond to their calls and texts. The police found signs of foul play in her home and launched a homicide investigation. They also found her car and discovered her body inside. Her autopsy confirmed that she had been strangled and stabbed to death.
The Fate of LaJoya McCoy’s Children
Who are LaJoya McCoy’s children?
LaJoya McCoy’s children are James and Savannah, who are now 17 and 13 years old, respectively. They are the biological children of Jose Roberto Turner, who killed their mother. They were staying with their father on the week of the murder, and they did not know what had happened to their mother until he was arrested.
Where are they now?
James and Savannah are now living with their adoptive parents, David Clark and his wife Alicia, who are LaJoya McCoy’s uncle and aunt. They have been caring for them since Turner’s arrest and have given them a stable and loving home. They have also helped them cope with the trauma and grief of losing their mother and their father’s imprisonment.
Who is caring for them?
David Clark and his wife Alicia are the legal guardians of James and Savannah. They are LaJoya McCoy’s maternal relatives, who stepped up to take care of the children after the tragedy. They have been supportive and protective of the kids, and have tried to keep them away from the media attention and the details of the case. They have also encouraged them to pursue their interests and hobbies, and to honor their mother’s memory.
Dateline NBC: The Search for LaJoya McCoy’s Killer
Who was Jose Roberto Turner?
Jose Roberto Turner was a 49-year-old aspiring actor and screenwriter, who had dated LaJoya McCoy for about a decade. He was the father of her two children, James and Savannah, but they had separated two years before the murder. He was jealous and resentful of McCoy’s success and independence, and he wanted to control her life. He had threatened to kill her several times, and he had stalked and harassed her when she was with other men.
How was he connected to McCoy’s murder?
Jose Roberto Turner was the prime suspect in McCoy’s murder, as he had a motive, opportunity, and evidence against him. He had visited her apartment on the night of the murder, and he had left his DNA on the bloodstains on the wall and the light switch. He had also left a note in her car, where he admitted to taking some of her belongings and damaging her tire. He had also written in his journal about his anger and frustration with McCoy, and his desire to kill her.
How was he caught and sentenced?
Jose Roberto Turner was arrested on August 27, 2015, more than two months after the murder. He was charged with first-degree murder, and he pleaded not guilty. His trial began in 2017, and the prosecution presented the DNA evidence, the note, the journal, and the testimonies of McCoy’s family and friends, who described Turner’s abusive and violent behavior. The defense argued that the DNA evidence was contaminated, and that Turner had an alibi for the night of the murder. However, the jury did not buy his story, and they found him guilty of first-degree murder on June 19, 2017. He was sentenced to 26 years to life in prison on July 11, 2017.
Updates on the Case and the Children
Airing of Dateline NBC episode
The case of LaJoya McCoy’s murder was featured on Dateline NBC, a popular true crime show, on January 29, 2021. The episode, titled “The Dead of Night”, was reported by Josh Mankiewicz, who interviewed the investigators, the prosecutors, the witnesses, and the relatives of McCoy and Turner. The episode also showed some footage of the crime scene, the trial, and the sentencing. The episode aimed to shed light on the brutal and senseless killing of a young and vibrant woman, and the impact it had on her children and her family.
Where is Turner now?
Jose Roberto Turner is currently incarcerated at the California State Prison, Los Angeles County, in Lancaster, California. He is serving his 26 years to life sentence for the murder of LaJoya McCoy. He will be eligible for parole in 2041, when he will be 75 years old. He has not expressed any remorse or apology for his crime, and he has not tried to contact his children.
The current situation of McCoy’s children
James and Savannah are now teenagers, who are trying to move on with their lives after the loss of their mother and their father’s conviction. They are doing well in school, and they have developed their own passions and talents. James is interested in music and sports, and Savannah is into art and dance. They are also close to their adoptive parents, David and Alicia, who have given them a safe and happy home. They still miss their mother, and they celebrate her birthday and her death anniversary every year. They have not spoken to their father, and they do not plan to do so in the future.
LaJoya McCoy was a remarkable woman who was taken away too soon by a man who claimed to love her. Her murder was a tragedy that left her children orphaned and her family devastated. However, thanks to the efforts of the police and the justice system, her killer was caught and punished, and her children were given a new chance at life. LaJoya McCoy’s legacy lives on through her children, who are growing up to be strong and resilient individuals, just like their mother.