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Man Allegedly Threatened Girlfriend With Gun Months Before Her Death

Denzelle Turner and Veronica Sacco had a “volatile and often violent relationship," according to Florida authorities.

Denzelle Turner Lake County Sheriff

A Florida man who allegedly killed his girlfriend and dumped her body in a wooded area in April is facing first-degree murder charges.

Denzelle Jordan Turner, 21, was arrested almost a month ago in Georgia for the slaying of his girlfriend Veronica Sacco. He was extradited from Georgia to Florida on June 2. Turner is facing first-degree murder charges in her killing, according to state officials. 

On April 26, Sacco’s remains were found by wildlife surveyors in a wooded area by a toll road near Clermont. Her body was badly decomposed, according to the Daily Commercial. She’d originally been reported missing on April 12.

An autopsy concluded Sacco had been shot five times in the chest, wrapped in plastic, a blue tarp, and a cloth sack, according to an arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. Dental records were required to identify her.

Investigators suspect Turner killed Sacco on April 13 at the Orange County apartment the couple shared. He then allegedly later transported her body to a remote area of Lake County where her remains were later discovered. Cell records and toll plaza images confirmed that Turner was in the area shortly after Sacco’s alleged murder, authorities said.

The Orlando man later fled to Georgia. Cobb County police arrested the 21-year-old on May 14 after his vehicle was spotted at a Marietta motel. 

When law enforcement descended on the couple’s home, neighbors told detectives that weeks earlier they’d been awoken by multiple gunshots after hearing the couple arguing. A shell casing allegedly matching the ammunition used in Sacco’s fatal shooting was later recovered from the scene.

Sacco’s family also told investigators that she’d been seen on a video call with Turner the night before her killing. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement previously described Sacco as a “female acquaintance.” The agency said the couple had a “volatile and often violent relationship,” according to WESH.

Turner threatened her with a firearm on Feb. 15, Turner's family said. They told police he was known to carry a 9mm pistol, an arrest affidavit states. Social media images of Turner brandishing the firearm were reportedly scrubbed from social media following Sacco’s suspected murder, according to the Orlando Sentinel. Pictures of the couple were also removed from Sacco’s Facebook page. 

Sacco had a passion for dance since she was a little girl, her family said. The 29-year-old began training for a career as a ballroom dance instructor at the age of 14 and traveled to dance competitions around the country. Sacco was from Windermere, Florida, according to her obituary

"My daughter, my babygirl, love of my life,” her father wrote on Ever Loved last month. “Words cannot begin to describe my grief and how I miss you. I can only say that you are in my heart, your children, my grandchildren will be cared for and justice will be served."

Turner was booked into a Lake County detention center last week, according to online jail records. He’s expected to be tried in Orange County’s ninth judicial circuit. It’s unclear if he’s retained legal counsel. 

A spokesperson for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement declined to comment on the active case on Friday.

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