Jerel Boykins was detained Thursday by the Marine Corps Naval Criminal Investigative Service at Camp Pendleton and booked the following morning on suspicion of murder, according to the Orange County Sheriff's Department. The 26-year-old Laguna Hills resident is being held on $1 million bail.
Deputies were asked Thursday afternoon to visit a home in the 25000 block of Via Lomas and check on the welfare of the residents, the sheriff's department said in a statement.
When deputies arrived, they found Boykins' 23-year-old estranged wife suffering from gunshot wounds. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
Although authorities have not released the woman's identity, friends identified her as Yahaira Ocegueda Boykins, KTLA-TV reported. She had three children, one with her ex-husband and two with Boykins, the news station reported.
Boykins was a staff sergeant who worked as a landing support specialist with the 3rd Assault Amphibian Battalion, 1st Marine Division, said 1st Lt. Paul Gainey, the division's spokesman.
During his service, Boykins received 13 awards, including a medal for good conduct.