Fort Worth

Fort Worth teen arrested, accused of killing woman found in motel room he had been staying in

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to reflect new information from Fort Worth police.

Salomon Marquez Sandoval, a 19-year-old from Fort Worth, was alone when he checked into the Golden Gate Motel on Camp Bowie West Boulevard last Thursday, according to the motel’s owners.

By Tuesday night, a woman was found dead inside his room and Sandoval was arrested on a murder charge.

Jail records identified the suspect as Sandoval, who has no criminal history in Tarrant County.

Paul Bhakda, who owns the motel with his wife, confirmed Sandoval had checked into the hotel last Thursday, but noted he was staying alone. There were no signs anyone else had been joining him, he said.

Orbelina Marquez, Sandoval’s mother, said she last saw her son Tuesday night. He had stopped off at the family’s apartment in west Fort Worth.

However, speaking in Spanish in an interview with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, she said she doesn’t know how her son came to be the suspect in a murder case.

The name of the victim has not been released. Police haven’t announced a motive for the homicide.

Two Fort Worth police cars remained outside of the motel around 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, roughly 15 hours after the crime was reported.

They were positioned outside of room 128, where police said the body was found and Bhakda said Sandoval had been staying.

What happened

Patrol officers responded to a call about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday that a woman had been shot in a room at the Golden Gate Motel, 7516 Camp Bowie West Blvd.

Bhakda said he and his wife were at the motel Tuesday night, but didn’t hear any noise, such as a gunshot. They checked motel phone records and determined the 911 call hadn’t come from any of the rooms.

The officers, upon arriving at the scene, found Sandoval trying to escape in a car, police said. Police detained him.

When officers entered the motel room, they found the woman dead on the floor. Police initially reported the victim had been found covered in plastic in a bathtub, but clarified on Wednesday “this information was inaccurate.”

Sandoval had a knife and handcuffs on him, police said.

He was booked into the Fort Worth Jail just before 2:30 a.m. on a charge of murder. Along with the murder charge, he was also in jail Wednesday morning without bond on traffic violations.

Bhakda said he and his wife didn’t hear about the incident until between 8 and 9 p.m. Tuesday when police officers came into their front office. The officers asked for information about the suspect including his name and driver’s license on file, Bhakda said, and he and his wife provided it.

Bhakda said on Wednesday there had been a police presence at the motel since Tuesday night. But officers, he said, hadn’t shared information about the crime.

“We asked the cops what happened and they never said anything,” Bhakda said.

‘I’ve been trying to call him all morning’

Inside of Sandoval’s family apartment on Las Vegas Trail on Wednesday, his mother, Marquez, was trying to make sense of what happened the previous night.

She had seen him Tuesday night when he stopped at the residence, and she had known he was temporarily staying at the Fort Worth motel. But she didn’t know what led to the death of a woman and her son’s arrest.

She said she had been unable to get in contact with Sandoval on Wednesday.

“I’ve been trying to call him all morning,” Marquez said in Spanish. “I finally learned he was arrested and I don’t know what happened.”

Two patrol cars were outside of the apartment complex on Wednesday afternoon.

Reporter Emerson Clarridge contributed to this story.
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