The granddaughter of a Manson Family murder victim was stabbed to death in her Colorado apartment and was found laying “in a pool of blood in her bed,” according to authorities.
Ariana Wolk—the granddaughter of Manson victim Rosemary LaBianca—had been repeatedly stabbed in her neck, the Denver District Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
Wolk was killed in July but her chilling connection to the infamous Manson murders wasn’t revealed until this week by The Daily Mail.
Wolk is the daughter of Suzan LaBerge. LaBerge was just 21 years old when, on Aug. 10, 1969, followers of cult leader Charles Manson broke into the home of her mother and stepfather, Rosemary and Leno LaBianca, and savagely murdered the couple, carving the word “war” onto Leno’s chest.
Former Los Angeles County Prosecutor Stephen Kay said in Oxygen’s “Manson: The Women” that Rosemary had been stabbed 42 times by Manson family members Patricia Krenwinkel, Tex Watson and Leslie Van Houten.
LaBerge did not live with her mother at the time of the murder, but had reportedly discovered their bodies the next day, The Daily Mail reports.
More than five decades later, Rosemary’s granddaughter met a similar grisly fate.
Wolk, a 40-year-old single mother, was discovered dead in her apartment on July 3, 2020 with “sharp force injuries to her neck,” the district attorney’s office said.
She was found unresponsive in a “pool of blood in her bed” with defensive stab wounds to her arms and hands.
She had been living alone in the upstairs apartment unit for several months “following an incident of domestic violence,” according to authorities. Investigators were able to quickly rule out an initial suspect in that case because he had been wearing a court-ordered GPS ankle monitoring device at the time of the slaying and had not been at the apartment.
However, witnesses at the apartment complex reported seeing another male with Wolk the day she was killed, according to an arrest affidavit in the case.
One neighbor told police that around 4 p.m. or 5 p.m. that day she heard Wolk either fall or get pushed down a set of outdoor stairs and looked out to see a young male with black hair standing in the doorway and Wolk on the ground. The witness told police that Wolk needed help getting back to her apartment.
The same male later came to the neighbor’s apartment to ask whether she wanted to smoke marijuana and claimed that Wolk had been threatening to hurt herself, according to the affidavit. When the neighbor declined the offer to smoke weed, the male allegedly returned to Wolk’s apartment.
Several hours later—and just about 30 to 45 minutes before Wolk was discovered dead—a witness saw the male, shirtless, walking around the backyard of the apartment.
Wolk’s body was discovered after 9 p.m. by a friend who had been staying at her apartment to help her “battle her alcohol addiction,” the affidavit said. The friend reportedly told police that Wolk “would become intoxicated and invite random transients to come to the house.”
Police were able to find video footage showing Wolk in the company of a man who was carrying a Starbucks cup that authorities later found discarded in the front lawn. Authorities were able to match a finger print found on the cup to 24-year-old Jose Sandoval-Romero, according to the affidavit. The video also captured a “distinct red tattoo” on Sandoval-Romero’s forearm.
Police were able to locate Sandoval-Romero in Colorado Springs, where he had allegedly fled after the killing, according to the affidavit.
At the time they took him into custody, Sandoval-Romero had “two separate, partially healed cuts” to his right hand that authorities said would be consistent with a knife slipping as he was making stabbing motions, the affidavit stated.
Police said Sandoval-Romero later admitted stabbing Wolk multiple times in her bedroom before fleeing the scene, discarding his bloody clothes in the trash and traveling to Colorado Springs.
Sandoval-Romero is currently facing a murder charge in connection with Wolk’s death.
Maya Halverson Baldwin, who had been Wolk’s high school friend, described the slaying to The Daily Mail as “shocking and tragic.”
“I was aware that she had split with her son’s father, but we had both been busy the last few years, so I wasn’t in frequent contact,” she said. “To hear of her murderous death was an absolute gut punch. Her poor son. Her last moments, the terror she must have felt, all gripped my mind.”
Baldwin described her friend as a “beautiful, sweet person” who was a loving mother.
Crime Time is your destination for true crime stories from around the world, breaking crime news, and information about Oxygen's original true crime shows and documentaries. Sign up for our Crime Time Newsletter and subscribe to our true crime podcast Martinis & Murder for all the best true crime content.