Police investigate possible murder-suicide on Miss. coast

Published 4:58 pm Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Coast authorities were investigating the early Tuesday deaths of a man and woman in different counties that appear to be linked

Police in Biloxi responded to a call from the IP Casino, where Manuel Sandoval, 32, of Vancleave, apparently jumped from the top of a parking garage during the early morning hours.

According to witnesses, the man entered the parking garage at 5:12 a.m. He was found dead on the sidewalk on the western side of the parking garage at 5:30 a.m.

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Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove said during investigation into Sandoval’s death he received information about the possible death of Sandoval’s wife and contacted Jackson County authorities.

The Jackson County Sheriff’s Department went to Sandoval’s residence and found the body of his wife, 24-year-old Samantha Thomason. She had been stabbed and was dead at the scene.

Thomason told a relative at about 8 p.m. Monday she was going to Sandoval’s house to get some clothes, Jackson County Sheriff Mike Byrd said.

Officials told the Sun Herald newspaper they believe Sandoval, an illegal immigrant, killed his wife in Vancleave and then drove to the Biloxi casino where he jumped to his death.

Byrd said the man apparently had called someone and told them that he had killed his wife and had planned to kill himself.

The couple had been having marital problems but were trying to work things out, Byrd said. They were not living together at the time.