The case of a man mysteriously found dead in a field Sunday morning took a dramatic turn Thursday night when sheriff's deputies arrested the victim's wife and booked her for his murder.
Leslie Jenea Chance, 46, was arrested in the case and will be booked on a murder charge in the death of Todd Chance, the Sheriff's Office said.
Todd Chance's body was found Sunday morning in a field northwest of Bakersfield. He had died of multiple gunshot wounds and his death was quickly ruled a homicide by the coroner.
Chance, 45, had left his Bakersfield home Sunday morning and was found a couple of hours later in a field 16 miles away, Kern County Sheriff's spokesman Ray Pruitt said Monday. Farmworkers found the body at 9:30 a.m. off a dirt section of Noriega Road near Enos Lane just south of the Rio Bravo-Greeley Unified School District offices.
Priutt said the farmworkers "had checked the field at 7:30 a.m. The body wasn't there."
Todd Chance's black 2011 Ford Mustang was missing but was found a short time later, abandoned near the intersection of Tigerflower Drive and Wheatland Avenue in Bakersfield.
Chance, a truck driver, had been fondly remembered by relatives and colleagues.
His stepdaughter on Monday told a Californian reporter:
"This is a great loss for everybody. He was the best guy, the best husband, the best dad," said Jessica Bullman, 23. "He's been in my life since I was 4. He was my dad, and he was everything."
At the time, Bullman said her mother, Leslie Chance, was not able to speak to the media.
David Cotter of Con-way Freight's Bakersfield office confirmed that Chance was a driver for the company and was not working on Sunday.
"It's a loss for all of us," Cotter said Monday.