Ariana Wolk, the 40-year-old granddaughter of one of the Manson Family’s victims, was horrifically stabbed and left to die in a pool of blood, prosecutors said. Although Wolk was murdered on July 3 in Denver, her connection to the Manson Family murders was only made clear on December 9, Fox News reported.
According to a press release by the DA’s office, Wolk was found ” in a pool of blood in her bed having suffered sharp force injuries to her neck.” Her death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner. Detectives identified Jose Sandoval-Romero, 24, as the suspect in the murder after a video from the night of Wolk’s murder showed the two together.
The DA’s office said, “During his interview with law enforcement, Sandoval-Romero admitted that he had stabbed Ms. Wolk, fled the scene, and discarded his bloody clothes before fleeing to Colorado Springs.” He is now charged with first-degree murder. A motive has not been publicly revealed at this time or the relationship between the accused and the victim.
Sandoval-Romero’s next court appearance is scheduled for January 28, 2021, public records show.
Wolk’s Grandmother Was Rosemary LaBianca, Who Was Stabbed to Death in a Similar Fashion by the Manson Family
According to Fox News, Wolk was found on the evening of July 3 with “several stab wounds to her neck and apparent defensive stab wounds to her arms and hands.” Police and paramedics were responding to a 911 call at an apartment in the 1500 block of Oneida Street, the DA’s office stated.
An arrest affidavit by the DA’s office stated that Wolk had been living alone in the apartment for a couple of months after being the victim of “an incident of domestic violence.” However, the individual involved in that incident had been fitted with a court-ordered GPS ankle monitoring device and was not at Wolk’s apartment when she was murdered.
Wolk’s neighbors told police officers that they saw Sandoval-Romero with Wolk earlier in the evening and around 4 or 5 p.m. they heard Wolk fall or get pushed down the stairs. The neighbor saw Sandoval-Romero in the doorway and Wolk on the ground, the affidavit stated, and he then helped Wolk get back to the apartment. Her body was found shortly after 9 p.m. by one of Wolk’s friends who was staying at her apartment.
Wolk’s grisly murder had some parallels to her grandmother’s infamous murder by the Manson Family, Mercury News wrote. Wolk is the granddaughter of Rosemary LaBianca, who was a victim of a brutal and infamous murder by the Manson Family alongside her husband Leno LaBianca in August 1969. Wolk’s mother, Suzan LaBerge, was 21 years old when she and her teenage brother found the bodies of their mother and stepfather at their home on August 10, 1969.
On August 9, some of cult leader Charles Manson’s followers broke into the LaBianca home and brutally murdered the couple, stabbing Rosemary LaBianca 42 times and carving “war” into Leno LaBianca’s chest, according to Oxygen.
Wolk Was a Single Mother & Native of Northern California
Wolk was a native of Northern California who was born on September 26, 1979, according to a GoFundMe set up by her sister. The fundraiser stated, “She was a very happy, sweet, kind loving child and gifted her family with many fond memories. She attended Mariposa School in Cedar Ridge which was the original Waldorf School in this community.”
Wolk later studied at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, according to her LinkedIn profile, and worked as a human resources specialist.
Her sister wrote that Wolk had a son who was “the joy of her life.” The fundraiser was set up for funeral expenses but another was set up as a trust fund for her son, Xander. One of Wolk’s high school friends, Maya Halverson Baldwin, told the Daily Mail, “Ariana was a beautiful sweet person, loving mother to her son Xander and a stunningly gorgeous girl in our small seaside town.” She continued:
I was aware that she had split with her son’s father, but we had both been busy the last few years, so I wasn’t in frequent contact. To hear of her murderous death was an absolute gut punch. Her poor son. Her last moments, the terror she must have felt, all gripped my mind. Her death is shocking and tragic. It’s hard for me to even visualize what happened, she was a tall strong woman.