Murder-Suicide Investigation Involving Vancleave Couple

Besides an occasional dog barking and children playing, it's a quiet day on Southern Pine Street in Vancleave. But sometime after 9:00 Monday night, inside a small trailer, something horrible happened.

"We were called by the coroner's office in Harrison County, to go up to Southern Pine in Vancleave to check on the status of a woman," said Jackson County Sheriff's Investigator Ricky Jones. "Our officers went up there and found the lady stabbed to death in her home, and we started an investigation on her homicide in Jackson County."

Coroner Vicki Broadus says Samantha Thomason, 24, died from two stab wounds to the upper body. Jackson County investigators believe Thomason was killed by her husband of two years, Manuel Sandovol, 32.

Harrison County Coroner Gary Hargrove says Jackson County deputies got involved after  Sandovol's body was discovered at a Biloxi casino parking garage.  Hargrove says Sandovol committed suicide by jumping off the top floor of the IP Casino garage, and landed on the west side.  A note found on his body had a name and phone number to call. After talking to a friend of Sandoval's, Hargrove says he had reason to suspect that something may have happened to Sandoval's wife.

When asked if his deputies had been called to the couple's home before, investigator Ricky Jones said

"I just looked with our dispatch, with that very question, and they don't have any record of us being at that address on any kind of disturbance."

"We were real close," said Samantha's uncle Sammy Griffin.

Griffin would not comment on the couple's relationship, but says they seemed to get along. Samantha's mother, who lives off Ocean Springs Road was too distraught to talk to WLOX on camera. She did tell us she moved down here from Newton, MS, to be closer to her daughter.

She described Samantha as a beautiful, loving, easy going and energetic young lady, and her son-in-law as hard-working and kind. That's why the murder was so shocking.

"A big shock.  Ain't a whole lot you can say in a situation like this," Griffin said. "Nobody ever thinks anything like this could happen."

Jackson County investigators say Manuel Sandovol is not a U.S citizen. He is a native of Mexico, and is a construction worker.

Family members say Samantha Thomason worked as the head waitress at "Sweet Bay" restaurant at the Preserves Golf Club. She will be buried near her hometown of Newton, Mississippi.