Sandra Ladd was a resident of Washougal, Washington, and a former school secretary who was stabbed to death inside her home in 2020.
Sandra Ladd’s murder remains unsolved.
Her full name was Sandra Galyn Ladd. According to her obituary, she died on Sunday, June 14, 2020, at the age of 71. Her LinkedIn page indicates she also went by the name Sandy Ladd.
The unsolved murder of Sandra Ladd is back in the news after the knife attack that killed four college students from the University of Idaho in November 2022. No connection has been found at this point; however, there are similarities between Ladd’s homicide and the way the college students died in Moscow, Idaho. In addition, the stabbings of couple Travis and Jamilyn Juetten in Marion County, Oregon, bear some similarities to the Moscow homicides.
The Idaho Tribune highlighted similarities among the stabbing deaths at the three different locations. Ladd “may have been attacked in the late hours of the night of the 13th of June 2020,” the newspaper reported. “If this is the case, all three incidents will have taken place on the 13h of their respective months, only a little more than 1 year apart.”
According to Camas Post Record, there is a reward of up to $2,500 in the case.
“We want to make sure that we have all of the information that we can possibly get,” Washougal Police Chief Wendi Steinbronn told that news site in October 2020.
“Sometimes people see something or know something that they don’t think is relevant. We want to draw that out. We don’t want people to worry about feeling silly. We want to hear about it, no matter if it turns out to be relevant or not. Some people who don’t know if their information is valuable or not might not be aware of the investigation. We want to raise the profile and keep the case fresh in people’s minds.”
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Ladd Died After Being Stabbed to the Torso
According to the Camas Post Record, Ladd “was the victim of homicidal violence and died after being stabbed in her torso.” The Idaho Tribune reported that she was stabbed to death in her bed, although the exact time is unclear.
She died in her home in the 1900 block of 41st Street in Washougal, on June 14, 2020, the Post Record newspaper reported. According to the Columbian, she was discovered deceased around 4:30 p.m.
That news site reported that Ladd “died of stab wounds to the torso.” Although they never made an arrest, authorities initially said there was no threat to the public.
Heavy has reached out to Washougal police for comment.
Online records give her exact address as 1903 41st St, Washougal, WA 98671-9022. Although some news sites say she died in an apartment and others in a home, Google Maps indicate that address is a home. The house sold in 2021 for $450,000, according to RedFin.
“Ladd was presumably sleeping in her Washougal, WA home, possibly in the late hours of the 13th, when an unknown intruder entered her residence and stabbed her to death. Her crime was never solved,” the Idaho Tribune reported, outlining similarities between Ladd’s death, a death in nearby Oregon, and the Moscow murders.
2. Ladd Worked for the Washougal School District for Years as an Administrative Assistant
According to her obituary, Sandra Ladd was born on March 27, 1949 in Portland, Oregon to her parents, Robert B. and Gladys (Stevenson) McCary.
“She graduated from Washougal High School in 1967 and attended the University of Washington. She worked for the Washougal School District from 1986 to 2016 as an Administrative Assistant and Receptionist,” the obituary says.
According to the obituary, “Sandra loved to travel, especially to Hawaii and worked with State Organizations supporting classified school employees. She was very dedicated to her family and so excited about them. She loved people and children.”
Ladd’s Facebook page, which is still up, says she “works at Burgerville, USA,” and “worked at Washougal School District.” She studied at Clark College in Vancouver as well as the University of Washington, went to Washougal, was from Washougal, and lived in Washougal. Her Facebook page has little on it: A share of a story about Oregon campsites, a recipe for pasta, a joke about having kids.
According to her LinkedIn page, she also worked as a legal secretary in Vancouver for 15 years.
3. Ladd Was the Mother of Four Children
Ladd left behind four children and six grandchildren.
“Sandra is survived by her daughter, Mikaela (Matthew) Sasse of Vancouver, Washington; sons, Jaymes (Melissa) Ladd of Yacolt, Washington, Ryan Ladd of Washougal, Washington, Trevor Paul Ladd of Washougal, Washington and 6 grandchildren,” her obituary reads.
“Sandra was preceded in death by her parents and brother, Mike McCary.”
She was buried in Washougal, Washington.
The Washougal website says the town was “incorporated in 1908, it was the site of some of the very earliest American settlers and pioneers in the Washington Territory. Beautifully bordered by the Columbia and Washougal Rivers, the Washougal area is filled with many family-friendly parks, hiking trails, businesses and neighborhoods. Approximately 15,560 residents call Washougal home.”
4. Ladd Was Described as Having a Big Heart & Taking ‘Care of People Up & Above Herself’
A friend wrote in 2020 on Facebook:
This women is greatly missed! She took care of people up and above herself! Her heart was bigger than ever! Her family and grandkids were here life! A women that was taken way to early over what we don’t know was a senseless crime. She was so loved by all! Please share and let’s find out what happened! So many people miss her and things need to be figured out! Sandy god bless you and may you Rest In Peace! ❤️🌹😢
Her daughter, Mikaela Sass, told the Camas Post Record:
Not being able to see her beautiful face since June has been an excruciating, heartbreaking pain that doesn’t go away. Not a moment goes by that we don’t think about her. Her fashion, smell, favorite stores, habits, sayings, places, pictures, holidays — everything reminds me of her. This has been such a nightmare for the family, but we have to keep reminding ourselves that we have to keep faith that answers will come and we have to try to stay positive, which is harder than you can ever imagine.
5. The Four College Students Were Also Stabbed in Their Beds
Four college students were stabbed to death in an off-campus home in Moscow, Idaho, in November 2022.
The students died of homicide. The murders are unsolved. The motive is not clear. At least some of the victims were asleep in bed when they were attacked.
Washougal is 342 miles from Moscow.
In a news conference, the Moscow chief, James Fry, was asked about another stabbing death, of Travis Juetten, in Oregon.
‘We have other agencies reaching out to us with other cases and stuff that we are going to follow up on those,” he said. “I actually had a tip come in on that case and I forwarded it.”
He wasn’t specifically asked about the Sandy Ladd murder.
Jamilyn and Travis Juetten were attacked in their home by a masked man with a knife in rural Marion County, Oregon, on August 13 2021, a GoFundMe says.
According to a GoFundMe page, “…the day they were to leave on their vacation, tragedy struck Jamilyn and Travis. Around 3 a.m. they were awoken from their sleep by someone attacking them with a knife. In the ensuing struggle, Travis gave his life to save Jamilyn. Jamilyn was transported to the hospital with multiple stab wounds where doctors were able to operate, stabilize, and have started her rehabilitation therapy. It was at the hospital that she learned that her husband had died. Travis was 26 years old.” That case remains unsolved.
READ NEXT: The University of Idaho Students Who Were Murdered in Moscow, Idaho