Courts & Crime

Trucker drove girlfriend’s remains home before attempting suicide

KILN — A truck driver claims he drove his dead girlfriend from California to Mississippi to say goodbye to his family before trying to take his own life, an investigator testified Wednesday.

Natasha Carpenter, 30, of Lubbock, Texas, died of asphyxiation “in a rough sex act” in Barksdale, Calif., said Hancock County Sheriff’s Detective Ricky Fayard. Her remains were found partially burned on Sept. 17 after Mark Anthony Rice set his 18-wheeler on fire behind his ex-wife’s home on Kiln-Picayune Road, Fayard said.

Rice, 47, is charged with capital murder, arson, aggravated assault by arson causing injury to an officer and destroying physical evidence.

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