Couple arrested, charged with murder in death of Margarita Sandoval

·2 min read

Jul. 22—The brother and sister-in-law of Margarita Sandoval, who was found dead in a Norman residence last year, were arrested and charged with murder Thursday in connection with the death.

Octavio Juan Sanchez, 35, and Desiree Sanchez, 27, of Norman were charged Thursday with first-degree murder and unlawful removal of a dead body. The Cleveland County District Attorney's Office filed charges after Norman police found Sandoval, a woman with special needs who was reported missing in 2018, dead inside the basement of the Sanchez' apartment in the 700 block of West Lindsey Street in May 2021, court records show.

Norman police arrested Desiree. Octavio was already detained in another county on different charges, according to a Friday news release from NPD.

Sandoval had gone to live with the Sanchezes in early 2018, according to a search warrant affidavit. The probable cause affidavit for the charges said Sandoval "had the cognitive abilities of a child," and that her sister, who had custody of her, drove her to Oklahoma after she lived in a group home in California.

She began living with the Sanchezes in 2018, who kept receiving money from her Social Security until police found her body, the affidavit states.

Sandoval's family began looking for her after not hearing from her for months and couldn't find her after February 2018, the affidavit states.

Norman police on May 13 responded to a residence in the 700 block of West Lindsey Street and found Sandoval's decomposing body wrapped in plastic in the basement. They searched the residence in response to a call from the Mendocino County Sheriff's Office, who told NPD they had received a tip about the body at the residence, the affidavit states.

The homeowner, Miguel Munoz, told detectives he helped the Sanchezes put the body in the basement in June 2019, the affidavit states. Court records from 2021 show the Sanchezes helped Munoz secure the house on Lindsey Street, and that Munoz told police he knew nothing about a body in the basement, but had let Octavio store some items there.

Munoz has not been charged in connection with the alleged crime, court records show.

Investigators interviewed the Sanchezes, who allegedly gave "multiple conflicting stories" about what happened to Sandoval. They proved they were lying through interviews with family and acquaintances, police reports and DHS reports, the affidavit states.

Octavio's Facebook messages allegedly revealed Sandoval was dead in their apartment in the 1600 block of Brandon Boulevard. Octavio allegedly told Desiree to tell police that he did everything, but also that if she told on him, he would kill her, the affidavit states.

NPD's investigation into the death is ongoing, according to the Friday news release.

This is a developing story.