Man accused of killing two women kills himself in jail

by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:

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ROCK HILL, S.C. —

The man accused of killing two women in Rock Hill killed himself while in jail.

Joshua Grose was behind bars after killing Sandra Thomas and his own mother, Sandy, on Friday.

Sandy taught karate and was well loved by her students.

Channel 9 spoke with her boss.

“I did not thank her enough, but I did appreciate her. The kids loved her. They loved her.”

Officers at the jail say Joshua Grose tried to drown himself in a toilet Saturday night and then banged his head repeatedly on a wall.

Officers tried to help him, but he died.

Grose faced attempted murder, grand larceny over $10,000, as well as two counts of murder.

"My son said he heard sirens and this sort of thing so we knew something was going on," neighbor Karen Griffin said. "We were just shocked."

Friday night, just after 6 p.m., investigators swarmed the area near Kingswood Drive, Mt Gallant Road, and Woodside Drive. They found two bodies in two separate locations, and an injured man who is now in the hospital.

"And the suspect we have in custody was in both those locations," Trent Faris, with the York County Sheriff's Office, said.

Investigators arrested 34-year-old Grose. Neighbors told Eyewitness News that he was no stranger to the River Pines neighborhood.

"I've seen him walking his dog in the neighborhood before," Tanya Hurd said.

Hurd described him as quiet. What many neighbors didn't know was that Grose had a criminal past.

He's been arrested multiple times for DUI and pleaded guilty to a drug charge in 2004. As for what led up to the alleged murders--investigators say they hope the surviving victim will be able to help answer that when he's well enough to talk.

"It's very complicated," Faris said. "It's a lot of puzzle pieces spread out over a large area, and we're trying to put them together again."

But neighbors want them to solve that puzzle as quickly as possible.

"It really scares you," Griffin said.

One of the victims was 53-year-old Sandra Thomas.

Investigators say they were both struck and killed by a vehicle.