Media partner 10News reported the man flagged down officers at 14th and Broadway shortly after 1:30 a.m., according to San Diego police Lt. Jorge Duran. Officers found the woman in the passenger compartment of the man's pickup truck and paramedics were called to confirm her death, he said.
The wife worked at a Popeye's in the area. The man told officers she was his wife and she appeared to be in her 40s, Duran said, adding that the man's demeanor was "calm." He has been charged on suspicion of murder.
A small amount of blood was found in the vehicle but not on the man, Duran said. 10News learned that the couple is from Southeast San Diego. It may have originally been a murder suicide plot because a hose was found running from the tail pipe into the cab of the truck. They were involved in a bitter custody dispute.
The man parked his truck in metered parking facing police headquarters on 14th Street, prompting police to close 14th Street from Broadway to E Street. Duran said the closure would likely last until at least dawn for the investigation.
Authorities said they are unable to confirm the cause of death until an autopsy is conducted