Thomas Steven Sanders, 55, the man who killed a Las Vegas mother and her daughter has had his trial delayed until next year.
Sanders, also known as “Spider” was considered legally dead in 1994 by a court in Mississippi. He walked out on his family in 1994.
Apparently he blended in quite well through the years, despite being “legally dead”..
He lived in Mississippi, Louisiana, Tennessee, Georgia and Nevada. Thomas Steven Sanders worked as a laborer, a welder and a scrap metal collector.
In Las Vegas, he worked as a nigh watchman at Pacific Mini Storage, near Pecos and Russell roads in Southeast Las Vegas. That is where he met Sue Ellen Roberts in Las Vegas.
Sue Ellen Roberts had fallen on tough times. She had lost her job and she and her 12 year old daughter, Lexi, were forced to move back into her mothers home, so she stored her furniture at the storage facility.
Sue Ellen hardly knew Thomas Steven Sanders. They had only known each other for approximately 2 months. He was substantially older than her and had no upper teeth and only 2 lower ones.
It is not know what qualities Suellen Roberts saw in him, however, Thomas Steven Sanders reportedly gave her expensive gifts and jewelry.
Her mother thought she was just “vulnerable”.
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Whatever the attraction, she soon agreed to go on a weekend getaway with him for Labor Day, taking her daughter Lexi Roberts, with them.
They went to to Bearizona, a wildlife park near the Grand Canyon.
Sanders might have had his plan in place even before even leaving Las Vegas.
He was observed in a Las Vegas Walmart purchasing ammunition on September, 3, 2010. The ammunition purchased at Walmart, days before their trip, is consistent with the what was used to kill Lexi Roberts.
It was confirmed that Suellen, her daughter and Sanders were at Bearizona on September 4th. Suellen Roberts used her cell phone on September 5 and the signal was reportedly within 20 miles of Williams, AZ , near where Bearizona is located.
After that, there was no further activity.
Friends and family were worried and a manhunt soon ensued.
According to his confession given after he was caught, Sanders stopped in the desert, on their way back to Nevada, under the guise of letting Suellen shoot his .22 rifle. Instead, Sanders shot her in the head.
He likely wanted her daughter all along. There are allegations of past inappropriate contact with children, by his first wife in the 80’s, and some have said that he is a true pedophile and that he just hasn’t been caught for all of the offenses he committed.
After shooting Suellen Roberts, Sanders then took the hysterical Lexi Roberts with him.
Ultimately, he took the child to a wooded area in Louisiana, where he brutally ended her life.
Lexi wanted to live. Even after being shot 3 times in the head and once in the heart, the young child still didn’t die so Sanders cut her throat.
Her remains were found by hunters on October 8, 2010 in Catahoula Parish, Louisiana.
A month after Lexi’s body was found Thomas Sanders was arrested at a Flying J truck stop in Gulfport, Mississippi. He was driving Suellen’s Kia at the time of his arrest. Her body was found, November 15th, in Arizona
Sanders new trial date is August 26th in Louisiana. Both sides have reportedly agree to the delay in the trial date.