Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Murder of Krystal Dawn Steadman

The Clean Up

After committing the brutal murder, Thomas Soria Sr. called T.J. into the room and asked him to help dispose of the body. T.J. grabbed an empty box and the two men lifted Krystal's body into it. T.J. then grabbed her clothes off the floor and threw them in a garbage bag. His father instructed him to drive out to U.S. Highway 50 near Carson City and throw the body off a cliff. T.J. did not argue with his father. He carried the box downstairs, put it in the back of his dad's truck and drove out to U.S. Highway 50. There he found a secluded location near the canyon of Clear Creek. He stopped the truck and threw Krystal's clothes over the edge. He then drove down the road a little further before stopping again about halfway down the summit. After pulling over he took her body out of the box and threw her over the side of the cliff. T.J. then drove off towards Carson City. There were pools of blood all over the truck and he knew he had to get it cleaned up before he returned. He eventually found a car wash and scrubbed the bloodstains until he was satisfied they were gone.

Searchers and police examine an area
Searchers and police examine an area

Once back at the apartment building, T.J. noticed officers from the Douglas County District Sheriff's Department questioning his neighbors. Upon exiting his vehicle, T.J. was approached by Deputies Sandy Cable and Craig Lowe. The officers informed him that they had some questions for him regarding a missing girl and escorted him back to their patrol car, where Douglas County detective Ted Duzan was waiting. Duzan briefly questioned T.J. and asked him to accompany the officers back to the sheriff's department for further questioning. T.J. did not resist and agreed to go with the officers. Once back at the station, T.J. informed them that he had seen the girl earlier that day, but said he had no idea where she was now. All attempts to get information out of T.J. were futile, as he kept repeating the same statements. He was shaking and appeared nervous throughout the interview, and that while he provided no relevant information, his story seemed to make no sense. During the course of the interrogation, one of the officers noticed what appeared to be a drop of blood on one of his boots. The officer made a note of the discovery and sent another officer to the Soria apartment to get permission from Thomas Soria Sr. to search his truck. After over an hour of questioning, officers were unable to get any substantial information from T.J. and did not have any solid proof he was involved in Krystal's disappearance. As the interview came to a close, T.J. voluntarily gave his clothes to the investigators and was driven back home. By now over seventy law enforcement officers were combing the area in hopes of finding Krystal.

After returning from the sheriff's department, T.J. ran up to his father's apartment and informed him of what was going on. By now Thomas Soria Sr. had completely scrubbed down the apartment and gotten rid of all the visual evidence. He was calm and collected and felt he had nothing to worry about. He had even given the sheriff's department permission to search his truck. As far as he was concerned no one could connect him to the crime. T.J. on the other hand was fast becoming a nervous wreck.

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