Oklahoma couple charged after woman’s body found in basement

July 24, 2022 GMT

NORMAN, Okla. (AP) — An Oklahoma couple has been charged in the death of a woman whose body was found last year wrapped in plastic in the basement of a home.

Margarita Sandoval, 19, had been missing for three years when police found her body in May 2021 in a box hidden underneath some stairs in a home in Norman.

After a 14-month investigation, Normal police charged Sandoval’s brother, 35-year-old Octavio Sanchez, and her sister-in-law, 27-year-old Desiree Sanchez, each with murder and unlawful removal of a dead body.

Earlier this month, the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office ruled Sandoval’s death a homicide.

Investigators say Sandoval had moved in with the couple in their Norman home in January 2018. Several months later, other family members began looking for Sandoval after not hearing from her.

Police say Sandoval, who had limited cognitive abilities, had called authorities to report that the couple had been abusive to her.

Police allege the Sanchez couple had continued to collect Sandoval’s disability payments up until her body was discovered.

Jail records did not list attorneys for Octavio and Desiree Sanchez who could speak on their behalf on Sunday.