Albany -- A trail of stolen items lead police to 35-year-old Sammy Brown, and he now faces murder charges in the death of Sonyanna Thomas.
He's accused of breaking into Sonyanna Thomas' hose, kidnapping her, murdering her, and dumping her body in a Worth County creek. Fishermen found her body October 11th, a week after her family reported her missing.
At the beginning of the month, there were a rash of break-ins around this Butler Drive neighborhood. Now police think Sonyanna Thomas likely surprised Brown when he broke into her home her at 200 Butler Drive on October 2nd.
What caused Brown to then kill Thomas will always haunt her family.
The news that Sammy Brown was charged with Sonyanna Thomas' kidnapping and murder didn't surprise her husband, Lawrence. He says Brown loaded stolen goods from his house in his wife's car, and took her to Worth County on the night of October 2nd.
But he tries not think about when and how his wife died. "The uncertainty of not knowing where your loved one is worse that knowing if they are dead or alive," he said.
Thirteen-year-old Jamilah Thomas, Sonyanna's daughter, says Brown stole a wonderful woman from this world.
Police were led to Brown when he tried to pawn the stolen items from Thomas' house at a Broad Avenue pawn shop. Brown had been in jail since October 3rd, the day after Thomas was reported missing, for burglarizing several other Albany houses.
Lawrence Thomas says will support any charge the D.A.'s office feels is just, including the death penalty. And, they say their relief didn't come with Brown's arrest, but rather when Sonyanna body was found and later laid to rest. Brown is charged with murder, kidnapping, theft by taking, and burglary.
The Thomas family has decided to move from their house, and start fresh. They also say they feel safer, knowing a suspect is behind bars.