An elementary school principal in Bakersfield, Calif. has been arrested on charges that she shot her husband multiple times.
Investigators from the Kern County Sheriff’s department identified Leslie Jenea Chance, 46, as the killer after a field worker found the body of her husband, Todd Chance, in a rural farming area last week, reports local ABC affiliate KERO.
“He had gym shoes, shorts and a t-shirt,” the field worker told the station. “It looked like he was jogging.”
Todd Chance, 45, died from multiple gunshot wounds, according to county authorities.
After the murder, the husband’s abandoned 2011 Ford Mustang was discovered in a Bakersfield trailer park.
Principal Jenea Chance had been the last person seen driving the car, according to Ray Pruitt, a spokesman for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office.
“We do believe she is the person who drove it into the neighborhood and left the vehicle in that neighborhood and then walked away,” Pruitt told KERO-TV.
“We believe that he was shot in the vehicle out at the scene,” Pruitt told local CBS affiliate KBAK. “But we’re still trying to determine exactly where he was shot.”
Investigators haven’t established a motive.
School district spokesman Kenneth R. Chichester described Principal Chance as “knowledgeable, a hard worker, well-respected and quiet,” according to The Bakersfield Californian.
She had been employed by the school district since 1997 and had been the principal at Fairview Elementary since 2010.
Chichester added that his colleague had appeared downcast between the time when the murder suspect was charged and her husband’s body was found .
During that time, KERO-TV contacted the family and received a message saying “leave my children alone.” It was signed “Mom.”
It’s unclear how many children the couple has, if any.
Another family member was more forthcoming but did not wish to be identified.
“Who knows now how this will play out,” the family member said. “We are all shocked.”
Leslie Chance currently sits in jail facing a first-degree murder charge. She is being held without bail. She has a court appearance on Tuesday, the day of her deceased husband’s funeral.