Abusive husband charged in death of missing mother of six

September 17, 2018

A missing mother of six children is presumed dead after leaving a north Houston bar more than a week ago with her estranged husband, who has since been charged in her death.

Authorities have been unable to find the body of 39-year-old Jennifer Sanchez, who was last seen alive the morning of Sept. 7. On the day of her disappearance, she went to the Catty Corner Ice House on Wakefield Dr. in Oak Forest with her husband and accused killer, Joey Sanchez, according to court records.

Sanchez, 44, is slated to appear in court Monday after he was arrested on Sept. 12 and charged with capital murder, in what the Harris County District Attorney’s Office described as “retaliation against Jennifer Sanchez.”

She was last seen wearing a black shirt and black leggings around 1 a.m. at her home in the 800 block of Martin St., about a mile from the bar, according to a news release issued on Sept. 10 by the Houston Police Department’s Missing Persons Unit. It was unclear if this happened before or after her trip to the ice house.

KTRK-TV reports Jennifer Sanchez told one of her sons she was going outside for a moment that Friday but never returned.

Court records show Sanchez repeatedly abused his slain wife. He allegedly attacked Jennifer in June and November 2017 and was prohibited from having contact with her later that year. He violated the court order the same day of his wife’s disappearance when a Houston police sergeant identified a couple seen on surveillance footage at the Oak Forest bar as Jennifer and Joey Sanchez. The video shows the two walking into the bar, hugging and then leaving the bar together.

As a result of the violated court order, Sanchez’s bail in both felony assault cases was revoked.

He is now accused of killing his wife “by unknown manner and means with unknown object,” prosecutors wrote.

On Friday, Assistant District Attorney Amanda Petroff cited both of Sanchez’s 2017 arrests for assault of a family member for demanding that he be denied bail. During the November assault case, Sanchez was accusing of hitting his wife and knocking her to the ground outside Vara’s Sports Bar on the North Freeway Service Road.

The criminal complaint states Sanchez pleaded guilty in March of that year to a 2016 assault charge in which Sanchez was also the victim. He threw a glass at her and grabbed her, records show.

He was convicted of aggravated sex assault and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in June 1996. He was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.



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