Margarita “Maggie” Sandoval was 19 years old when she vanished in 2018 in the town of Norman without a trace for three years. However, in May, local authorities obtained a tip about a dead body, prompting them get a search warrant for the property, located near the University of Oklahoma. The body they uncovered was later identified as Sandoval’s.
In the search warrant, which was seen by News on 6, Norman Police Detective Sean Judy said that officers came across “a liquid leaking from” a box and then saw “insects escaping”. After they were met with “an odour of decomposition”, they requested crime scene investigators to assist them.
Detective Judy’s report also said that the box containing Sandoval’s body was “wrapped in numerous layers of a thick plastic, possibly 20-30 layers”.
The homeowner, who took up residence at the property in 2019, told the authorities he was unaware of Sandoval’s body being in the basement, according to the search warrant. Investigators said he was cooperative and he told them that he had allowed a friend to keep some things in his basement.
“We knew something was wrong when she stopped calling my mom,” Sandoval’s sister Taylor Hearon told Local News 9 about her sister’s disappearance.
Ms Hearon explained that her sister had a mental disability and was entitled to recieve social security payments. Some members of their family wanted the payments to go directly to those caring for her.
In 2018, Sandoval informed Norman Police Department about the abusive treatment she was getting from her carers. According to the incident report, Sandoval was relocated and Adult Protective Services were brought in to manage Sandoval’s case.
“I did believe that as soon as Maggie turned 18, no one saw her but as a big dollar sign. Everyone let her down,” Ms Hearon told the same outlet.
The Oklahoma Medical Examiner is currently reviewing the case of Sandoval’s death and no cause of death has been made public. The Norman Police Department have not named any suspects or made any arrests, according to People.