Guard accused of rape now suspect in murder

Steven Alexander Hobbs, 40, is charged with capital murder
October 19, 2011 12:30:44 PM PDT
A man arrested and accused of raping a woman is now charged with the murder of another woman, and the investigation isn't over yet.

Investigators say DNA linked Steven Hobbs to the cold case murder of Sarah Sanford, who was found handcuffed and shot to death in October 2010. They say that's his MO. He uses handcuffs and guns.

Hobbs is being held at the Harris County Jail, but there's still one family still waiting for answers.

"She always came over and visited," Mariah Trombley, mother of victim Wanda Trombley, said.

Standing on the decorated porch of her Channelview home, Trombley is dreading the holidays.

"Halloween is going to be different, Christmas is going to be different. I just try not to think about it," she said.

Her mother's remains were found in Pasadena last month. Wanda Trombley had been missing since the Fourth of July. The cause of her death is unknown, but for her 18-year-old daughter, it was brutal no matter what.

"I don't like to talk about it," Mariah Trombley said.

But at the same time she is hopeful. The investigation into her mother's death led Pasadena police to Hobbs, a security guard. Last week, he was charged with raping a prostitute. On Monday, he was charged with capital murder in the disappearance and death of Sara Sanford.

Now, Mariah Trombley hopes he holds the answers in her mother's death.

"Hard not to overlook it," she said.

Investigators believe Hobbs preyed on prostitutes. Trombley was known to have worked as one. Her remains were found just 30 feet from the business where he patrolled as a security guard. Hobbs is considered a person of interest.

No one answered at his Crosby home Monday evening. Neighbors say his wife and two boys haven't been around much since his arrest.

"He's quiet, he sticks to himself," Henry Naskrent said.

Naskrent lives right across the street but rarely spoke to him in the 12 years they've been neighbors.

"The words that I heard...'How could he do something like that?' And I'm like, 'You don't know your neighbors,'" he said.

Authorities fear there still may be more victims and more crimes, while Mariah Trombley has questions about only one case -- her mother's.

"I kissed her on the cheek and then that was it," she said.

That was the last time Mariah Trombley saw her mother. She says it was about a week before her mother disappeared.

Hobbs is being held without bond. His next court appearance is scheduled for Wednesday.


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