Authorities say Marine’s wife was strangled

Kalyn Denise O’Barr-Poteat Patrick Poteat

SAN DIEGO – Investigators say they now know how the young wife of a Marine Corps Air Station Miramar soldier was murdered, but they still don’t know why.

San Diego Homicide detectives said 18-year-old Kalyn Denise O’Barr-Poteat was strangled to death with some sort of cord or rope.

Police said her husband, Lance Cpl Patrick Poteat is the killer. They say he called a friend Tuesday and asked him to call 911. He wanted police to check his apartment in the Mira Mesa neighborhood of San Diego. When officers went to the home on Tuesday, they found the young woman’s body of his wife.

The couple had been married only two months. Both were from Georgia. O’Barr-Poteat’s long-time friend Kacee Payne said everyone in her home town is shocked. A candle-light vigil was held Wednesday night in her honor. Payne said the last time she spoke with her friend, O’Barr-Poteat said her marriage was going well and she and Patrick had yet to even have a fight.

“That’s why no one can believe he did this,” Payne said .

Payne said O’Barr-Poteat played soccer in high school and loved to dance.

“She loved to laugh. She laughed a lot,” Payne said. “She would walk in, and the party would get started.”

Authorities haven’t speculated on a motive for the slaying. Marine Corps officials said Marine Corp Air Station Miramar was Poteat’s first duty station, and he had yet to be deployed. He repaired telephones and computers on base.

The San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the day before Christmas Eve, O’Barr-Poteat called her mother in Georgia and said she was growing afraid of her new husband’s temper.

“Up until then there was no indications of any problems,” Kelly Morrison O’Barr told the newspaper. “Until the night before Christmas Eve. He supposedly freaked out and threatened to commit suicide. She started talking about how she felt he had anger issues, and she didn’t want to be with someone who had anger issues and broke things.’

O’Barr-Poteat worked as a nude dancer at Goldfingers Gentlemen’s Club under the stage name “Darla.”

Within hours of finding the O’Barr-Poteat’s body, detectives determined that her husband was in the San Bernardino area. Sheriff’s personnel in that county pulled him over as he drive through Yucca Valley and took him into custody.

Poteat, who is stationed at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, was brought back to San Diego County on Tuesday night. He was being held in jail without bail pending an arraignment hearing scheduled for Thursday afternoon.

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