HEMET (CBSLA.com)   —   A Hemet man suspected of killing his girlfriend and driving her body around in his SUV is behind bars.

Vincent James Marples, 33, was arrested Tuesday afternoon and booked into the Southwest Detention Center in Murrieta on suspicion of murder, domestic violence and possession of a zip gun.

Marples allegedly killed 32-year-old Cassandra Taylor, whose remains were located in his Ford Explorer, according to Hemet police Lt. Eddie Pust.

About 2:45 p.m. Tuesday, officers got  a tip that Marples had called a relative stating that Taylor was dead and that he was with her, without disclosing where, according to Pust.

“The caller was able to provide a vehicle description and a general area that Marples frequents,” Pust said.

A Riverside County sheriff’s helicopter crew was requested to assist patrol officers in searching for the SUV, according to the lieutenant.

Shortly after 4 p.m., the air unit spotted the Ford Explorer on a hillside southeast of the intersection of Gibbel Road and State Street.

Officers swarmed the location and took the suspect into custody without incident.

Taylor’s body was found in the back of the vehicle, Pust said.

“Further investigation revealed that an altercation occurred between the two subjects, who were at the above location sometime within the past 24 hours,” Pust said. “The altercation resulted in the death of Taylor.”

He did not disclose how she died.

Marples was taken to a hospital for a brief examination before being booked into jail.

According to court records, he has prior misdemeanor convictions for domestic abuse, driving under the influence and manufacturing an illegal firearm. Marples also has several felony cases pending in Superior Court for alleged witness intimidation and making terrorist threats.

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