Investigators: Accused killer tried to drown himself in cell toilet, found dead Sunday

by: Catherine Bilkey Updated:


ROCK HILL, S.C. - A man accused of killing two women has died. The York County Sheriff's Office says Joshua Grose was found around 2:20 Sunday morning unresponsive in his jail cell. They say he had been combative toward himself and others during the night.

Investigators said earlier Sunday morning, Joshua Grose tried to drown himself in his cell toilet and also hit his head on the cell wall several times. He was placed in a restraining chair but was also hitting his head on that.

The York County Sheriff's Office says when officers went to put a helmet on him, they noticed a cut on the back of his head but EMS said he didn't need stitches.

Less than an hour later, Grose was found unresponsive.

"According to EMS, it appears that Mr. Grose was in cardiac arrest when they arrived the second time," spokesman Trent Faris said.

Grose, 34, was rushed to the hospital and pronounced dead a short time later. State law enforcement is investigating the death, but the sheriff's office said no officers have been placed on administrative leave or disciplined in any way.

"All our officers, all our detention officers, did exactly what they were supposed to do last night," Faris said.

Investigators say Grose wasn't taken to the hospital the first time EMS showed up because he was being extremely combative but he didn't need stitches.

An autopsy will be done Monday on the man accused of murdering two women. Eyewitness News dug through the arrest warrants and a case report Sunday. Investigators believe Grose killed Sandra Thomas after trying to steal her car in the River Pines neighborhood.

"Grose struck her as he was leaving," Faris said. "Grose then goes to Mrs. Grose, the second victim's house, assaults her, and hits her also with the car."

Investigators say he killed his own mother, Sandy Grose, and assaulted a third victim at that home---Curtis Sisk. Sandy taught karate in the community, a community shocked by the weekend's violent events.

"She was really really nice, a good teacher," Summer Parker, one of Sandy's students, said.

"I didn't thank her enough, but I did appreciate her," Sandy's boss Randy Cornell said. "The kids loved her. They loved her."

As for the motive, and what led up to these brutal killings, investigators say they're still working on figuring that out.

Another inmate died six weeks ago, according to the York County Sheriff's Office. That person committed suicide.

Read more on the details after police said they found the two bodies in seperate locations in York County here.