An East Pikeland Township handyman is charged with murder after allegedly beating and kicking his girlfriend to death, Chester County prosecutors announced Wednesday.
Mark Turner, 53, is accused of murdering his live-in girlfriend, 45-year-old Rachel Yeager, in what police and prosecutors describe as a jealous rage.
“This is the ugly face of domestic violence,” Chester County DA Tom Hogan said in a statement. “It is not easy to kill somebody with just your fists and feet. But the defendant was determined to kill the victim.”
Turner allegedly confessed to police that he had beaten Yeager when they responded to his home on Ridge Road in East Pikeland Township in Phoenixville, after receiving a 911 call reporting a domestic disturbance on Nov. 1
Police found Yeager unconscious when they arrived around 11 p.m. She succumbed to her injuries just under a day later at Paoli Hospital, around 8:28 p.m. on Nov. 2.
According to the criminal complaint, Turner confessed to Chester County Detectives that he attacked Yeager with his hands and repeatedly kicked her while wearing steel-toed boots because he thought she was cheating on him.
Turner had been drinking after work on Nov. 1 at two bars, Prima Bar in Phoenixville and Alex’s Tavern in Oaks, Pa., before returning to the home he shared with Yeager with another quart of beer, according to the criminal complaint.
He told police Yeager was just wearing a bathrobe and a shirt, and that after examining their bed and seeing a wet spot, “he knew” that she had cheated on him, he told police. He went downstairs and savagely attacked Yeager, according to the complaint.
An obituary for Yeager said she was born in the UK before relocating to the Phoenixville area and is survived by her parents, siblings, an aunt, and British relatives.
“This was a brutal killing,” Hogan said in a statement. “The defendant does not appear to understand that his girlfriend was not his property. She was a human being, free to make her own choices, but the defendant destroyed her.”
Warning signs of domestic violence
According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, one out of every four American women will experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and some 20,000 calls are placed every day to domestic violence hotlines.
People in violent intimate partner relationships may feel trapped due to financial or emotional ties, but domestic abuse can quickly escalate to severe violence or even murder.
To help victims, the public is urged to look for warning signs that someone they know may be in a violent relationship:
-Physical marks, bruises or cuts that a victim struggles to explain or justifies;
-Excessive jealous, or possessive, controlling behavior by a partner, where they attempt to control all of the victim’s activities and actions;
-Isolation from friends and family, enforced by a partner;
If you are in need of assistance please call the Safe Horizon hotline at 1-800-621-HOPE (4673), or the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE(7233). For help with any crimes, including support for family of homicide victims, contact For help with all crimes, including support for family members of homicide victims, please call: 1-866-689-HELP (4357).