YORK COUNTY, S.C. – The man accused of hitting and killing two women -- including his own mother -- with a stolen car in his York County neighborhood was found unresponsive in a jail cell early Sunday and later died, said deputies.
Joshua Matthew Grose was pronounced dead at 3:05 a.m. Sunday at Piedmont Medical Center, said York County sheriff’s spokesman Trent Faris.
He had been charged with two counts of murder, along with attempted murder and grand larceny, in connection with the deaths of two women in the River Pines neighborhood off Mt. Gallant Road near Rock Hill.
York County deputies said they believe Grose stole Sandy Thomas’s SUV from her home on Woodside Drive, then hit and killed her with it. Then deputies believe Grose drove to his mother’s home on Mt. Gallant Road a few hundred feet away, beat her, and also hit and killed her with the SUV.
She was identified in warrants Sunday as Sandra Marie Grose.
A third victim, identified in warrants as Curtis Alan Sisk, 60, was found in the SUV with head injuries but was alert.
Deputies arrested Grose as he came out the back door of his mother’s home shortly after the murders. The case report notes that Grose was naked because he had apparently been taking a shower.
Faris said Grose was combative and uncooperative from the moment deputies brought his to the jail Friday.
Early Sunday morning, Faris said Grose tried to drown himself in the toilet in his jail cell, and also banged his head on the wall several times.
In an attempt to restrain Grose, corrections officers put him in a “restraining chair,” said Faris. Once in the chair, Faris said Grose starting banging his head on the back of the chair.
Officers tried to put a helmet on Grose for his own protection, but noticed he had cuts on his head, said Faris. The officers called EMS.
“According to the EMS crew, the lacerations did not require stitches so the decision was made not to transport him to the hospital,” said Faris. EMS was on scene from 1:20 a.m. to 1:46 a.m., said Faris.
Grose was too combative for a full medical exam, said Faris, so he was placed on suicide watch in the restraining chair, in an isolated cell, wearing a protective helmet.
Faris said correction officers check inmates on suicide watch every 15 minutes for breathing and circulation. Faris said Grose was checked according to procedure.
At 2:20 a.m, Faris said an officer found Grose unresponsive. CPR was performed immediately and EMS was called back.
“CPR was performed from 2:20 a.m. to 2:29 a.m. and according to EMS, it appeared Mr. Grose was in cardiac arrest when they arrived the second time,” said Faris.
Faris said EMS continued to perform CPR en route to the hospital, where Grose was pronounced dead. The York County coroner will perform an autopsy Monday to determine the exact cause of death.
The State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) has been asked to investigate and the Department of Corrections has been notified, said Faris.
The death was an unexpected end to a tense weekend in the River Pines neighborhood, said resident Leah Hull. Hull lives just down the street from Sandy Thomas’s home, and knew Thomas.
“A very nice lady,” said Hull. “Her son and I went to school together, graduated together.”
Hull said Thomas had dropped by her home after Hull’s father was in a car accident. She said neighbors are shocked such vicious murders would happen in their quiet, rural neighborhood.
“It’s very shocking for all of us, everyone is until not believing it, but others are very glad it’s over,” said Hull.
“I'm just glad it's over and hope everything goes back to being quiet,” she said, “and nice not have to worry about walking my daughter down the street.”