German Luna Salazar, 44, allegedly bludgeoned 32-year-old Leyva Oregel Garcia to death and left her body in a parked SUV in the 4400 block of Camino De La Plaza, near Las Americas Premium Outlets mall, according to the San Diego Police Department.
A security guard discovered Oregel Garcia's shortly before 12:30 a.m. Tuesday.
After determining that the victim had died of blunt-force injuries, the county Medical Examiner's Office ruled her death a homicide.
Oregel Garcia had been reported missing July 2 in her hometown of Guadalupe, a small city about 20 miles south of San Luis Obispo, according to police.
''Detectives have learned this appears to be a tragic case of domestic violence in which … Salazar has been identified as the suspect,'' SDPD Lt. Steve Shebloski said.
The last known sighting of Salazar was in the area where his wife's body was found. He was leaving the vicinity on foot, and investigators believe he may have headed south and entered Mexico.
''San Diego police homicide detectives are currently working with investigators from the Guadalupe Police Department and Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office to determine the circumstances surrounding (the victim's) disappearance … and how she was found in San Diego,'' Shebloski said.
Anyone with information about the case is asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at 888-580-8477 or contact the agency online at sdcrimestoppers.org. Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.