Strangled to death: 40-year-old woman killed before crash at Leon and Hoyt; driver arrested

MILWAUKEE -- Milwaukee police said Monday, August 7th a woman was killed before a crash Sunday morning near Leon and Hoyt, and her death is being investigated as a homicide.

It happened around 1:30 a.m. Pieces of the vehicle were still on the ground on Monday, along with a small memorial.

Police said a 33-year-old man was driving a 2011 Nissan Sentra westbound when he drove off the roadway and struck a light pole.  The passenger in the car, 40-year-old Maria Mexicano, was pronounced dead at the scene.

An investigation has revealed Mexicano was strangled before the crash, and died as a result of those injuries.

Leon and Hoyt

A neighbor who didn't want to talk on camera said her roommate saw the aftermath of the crash and said the situation seemed bizarre from the beginning.

"She said it looked like it could've been domestic violence. I was told there was a lady out in the middle of the street dead, but I was told it didn't even look like a car accident. It seemed planned," she said.

The driver was not injured and was arrested for OWI. Police said he's the suspect in Mexicano's death, and charges are being referred to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office.

Leon and Hoyt

A source told FOX6 News he and Mexicano were dating, and the motive was jealousy.

"It touches my heart because you got so many men out here that's abusing these women and you never know what they are going through at home. They are out here enjoying life and you never know what they are going through, so it's just sad," a woman who frequents the area said.

Leon and Hoyt

FOX6 News did make contact with the suspect's family Monday. They said they did not want to comment at this time.

An autopsy was completed Monday, August 7th, and the medical examiner said the case is on non-disclosure.

The investigation is ongoing.

Fatal crash at Hoyt and Leon

Fatal crash at Hoyt and Leon

Monitor FOX6 News and FOX6Now.com for updates on this developing story.