Murder-suicide; Two found dead in area home

Two people were found shot to death in a Shawnee area home Monday afternoon following an apparent murder-suicide.

Pottawatomie County sheriff’s deputies responded to a mobile home community at 16504 Gaddy Road about 3:19 p.m. Monday.
Dead at the scene were Sonja Leann Sparks, 32, and Ryan Benjamin Jackson, 28, said Sheriff Kurt Shirey.

Deputies responded to the scene after being called by Sparks’ friends. They hadn’t heard from her and became concerned, so they went to her home.
When they looked inside a window, “They saw two individuals that appeared to be deceased and there was a certain amount of blood,” Shirey said. The bodies were in the master bedroom of the home.

Sparks and Jackson had known each other about two years and were reported by witnesses to be boyfriend and girlfriend, Shirey said. Witnesses also reported the couple had a “rocky relationship,” and that it had become even more estranged over the past few weeks.

Deputies found their cell phones at the home and text messages on those phones gave deputies many clues as to what occurred, he said.

Shirey said those messages and other evidence from the scene suggests Jackson shot Sparks multiple times before he turned the gun on himself and committed suicide.

A state medical examiner was at the scene as well; Shirey said they estimate the shootings occurred between 8:30 and 9 a.m. Monday. Evidence also revealed that Jackson purchased ammunition at a local discount store at 8:12 a.m. Monday, Shirey said.

Shirey, along with Deputies Randy Willis, Jimmy Brewer, Scott Hawkins and Detective Johnny Austin, worked the crime scene at the home on Lot No. 13.
Crime scene tape blocked the narrow road to the end of small mobile home community, which is located in the Bethel Acres area. Several other mobile homes near the crime scene home were abandoned and Shirey said no one had reported hearing gunshots.

The sheriff said Sparks has a teenage daughter and two younger sons and Jackson has two daughters. Their children were not at the home.

As deputies worked the scene in the quiet community, the landlord arrived and said she was shocked about what had occurred.

The landlord said she has worked to make the mobile home community a family-friendly environment, evident by the four or five children who continued to ride their bicycles at the front of the mobile home park despite the ongoing investigation at the end of the road. The landlord said her heart goes out to the families of the deceased.

Shirey said it doesn’t appear sheriff’s deputies had been called to Sparks’ home for any type of domestic-related disturbance before this incident.