Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Krystal Dawn Steadman

Stolen
Innocence

Like Father Like Son, by Robert Scott
Like Father Like Son, by Robert
Scott

On the morning of March 19, 2000, Krystal Steadman, her mom, Elizabeth, and her mom's boyfriend, Dan Simmons, drove to Burger King for breakfast. According to the book Like Father Like Son, by Robert Scott, Krystal and her mom had spent the previous night helping Dan pack his belongings so he could move to a better neighborhood. Once back at Dan's apartment, Krystal quickly grew bored of packing and asked her mom if she could play outside with some of the neighborhood kids. Elizabeth said it was all right as long as the other kids were with her. 

Once outside, Krystal and her new friends, Sandi Taylor and Connie Stewart, spent much of the early morning hours climbing on a big oak tree in front of the apartment complex. Every now and then Krystal would run back to Dan's apartment and check in with her mom to let her know she was ok. At around 2:00 p.m. Krystal's mom told her to make sure she was back in half and hour so they could go out for lunch. Krystal agreed and then ran back outside to play with to her new friends. At one point the girls ran into an older boy named T.J.  Krystal did not know him, but the other kids did and she soon felt at ease with him. Soon all three girls were taking turns riding on the running boards of his dad's sport utility vehicle as T.J. drove circles around the parking lot.

Thomas Soria, Jr. also known as T.J.
Thomas Soria, Jr. also known
as T.J.

Eventually Sandi and Connie had to go home for lunch. Krystal was starting to get cold, so as the other girls made their way home she ran up to Dan's apartment and grabbed her coat. When she returned the other girls were gone, but T.J. was still there. "I've got some candy for you upstairs if you want a piece," T.J. asked her. Krystal, still feeling at ease with the older boy, agreed and followed him up to his apartment. Once upstairs, T.J. introduced Krystal to his father, Thomas Soria Sr. and announced that he had some laundry to do before making a quick exit. 

As soon as T.J. exited the room, his father grabbed Krystal and overpowered her. She fought back with all her might, but she was no match for the older man. He quickly quieted her screams by placing duct tape over her mouth and then bound her wrists with it. He then carried her into a back room and closed the door behind him.

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