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Three dead amid fumes at Santa Cruz-area home

Dominic Manzanares performs as Tha Sandman in a screenshot from “Chillin With You,” one of his videos on YouTube.

Dominic Manzanares performs as Tha Sandman in a screenshot from “Chillin With You,” one of his videos on YouTube.

SANTA FE — Three people, including a popular local musician, were found dead in their Santa Cruz-area home Tuesday night.

Dominic Manzanares, 39, and his two sons, Isa Manzanares, 19, and Ventura Manzanares, 9, apparently were killed by inhalation of toxic fumes, according to a Santa Fe County Sheriff’s Office account.

Dominic Manzanares, who went by the name Tha Sandman, was a music artist and DJ in the Española area and performed with Isa, who was known as Dr. Dabs.

They appear together in a recent music video for the song “Nothin,” whose YouTube credits say it was filmed at Northern New Mexico College.

Another Sandman song, “Spanas My Home,” is a tribute to Española’s lowrider culture.

According to a Sheriff’s Office search warrant affidavit, deputies went to the house — described as a stuccoed mobile home — about 5:50 p.m. Tuesday after a report that there was “a heavy smell of fumes” coming from the house and that there were bodies inside.

Deputies began evacuating nearby homes and waited for fire department and emergency medical personnel to bring protective equipment.

The bodies of Dominic and Isa Manzanares were found in the kitchen, and 9-year-old Ventura’s body was in the bathtub.

Dominic Manzanares’ mother, Ymelda Roybal, was the first to discover there was a problem at the house, at 40B Camino de Paz in Santa Cruz.

She first went to the house after she went to pick Ventura up at school Tuesday afternoon and was told he hadn’t come to school for the day. She knocked on the door of the house, but no one answered.

She notified the boy’s mother, who also went to the house and also couldn’t get anyone to come to the door.

Roybal then returned to the home, climbed through a window and found Dominic’s body. She ran out of the house because of the fumes, the affidavit says, but she couldn’t get a phone signal to make a call.

She returned with a son-in-law, but they couldn’t go inside because of the fumes, even though Roybal had left the front door open. The son-in-law called 911, and deputies arrived.

Several people took to Facebook to express grief over the deaths, with most of them referring to Dominic by his stage name.

“Sandman, I’m so sad to hear about your passing,” Jordan James wrote. “I’ll cherish all of our memories. I know that everyone that got to meet ya knew you were a genuine person. I’m sad that I’m never gonna get the chance to see your face again. I’m gonna miss you my brother.”

“Sandman aka Dominic you were such a kindhearted awesome human being,” MelissaRose A. Lopez wrote. “A beautiful soul you always went outta your way to be there for me. … You will forever be missed here on earth as you walk through heaven with your boys by your side.”

Pueblo, Colo.-based Grip Alot Records, which has released Tha Sandman’s music, reported the deaths on its Facebook page with a “heavy heart and extreme disbelief.”

Ymelda Roybal is the wife of legendary northern New Mexico basketball coach Lenny Roybal, who had successful tenures at the old College of Santa, Santa Fe High and Española Valley High. Their Lenny Ymelda Roybal Facebook page also was receiving messages of condolences Wednesday.

The Sheriff’s Office report identifies the Roybals as the owners of the house where the three bodies were found and as the parents of Dominick Manzanares and the grandparents of Isa Manzanares and Ventura Manzanares.


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