WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita police are investigating the death 45-year-old Tanya Tandoc, a popular restaurant owner in Wichita. Tandoc owns Tanya’s Soup Kitchen on East Douglas.
The death happened at 236 South Minneapolis. The call came in around 11 p.m. Thursday night.
According to police records the suspect, 47-year-old Curtis C. Mitchell, was arrested at the home at 11:30 p.m. He is booked on first-degree murder charges.
Lt. Todd Ojile briefed the media on Friday morning on the murder of Tandoc. Police say a person called 911 to check on Tandoc.
Officers arrived at Tandoc’s home and made contact with 47-year-old suspect. Officers spoke with him for several minutes. They went back to their car to contact the person who called 911.
“That’s when the 47-year-old man inside the residence called 911 and stated that he killed his girlfriend. This man exited and contacted the officers,” said Lt. Ojile. “Once contacting the officers, he told them he killed his girlfriend and that she was inside the home.”
More officers arrived at the home. Officers found Tandoc in the basement in home. She suffered blunt force trauma and was pronounced dead.
“We believe she had been deceased several hours,” said Lt. Ojile. “Several of her friends had been trying to contact her Thursday. She did not show up for work. She was not answering her phone. Several of friends had been by her residence.”
Police say the suspect was living in the basement of Tandoc’s home. Officers are still at the scene gathering evidence.
Tanya’s Soup Kitchen is closed today.
Many friends and supporters of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen laid flowers outside the restaurant throughout the day.
Barbara Davis, a friend of Tandoc, didn’t know what happened until she came up to the restaurant to grab some soup.
Davis took some time to reflect on what kind of person Tandoc was.
“She’s just always been an exuberant, fun person to be around and always so open and giving,” said Davis.
Mitchell was known by some of Tandoc’s friends, who were surprised to hear what took place.
“We never thought he would do this, he’s a sweet man, seemed like a sweet man,” said Kathy Schauf.
It’s the same sense of shock that many neighbors of Tandoc woke up to Friday morning, when they saw a crime scene out their window.
Neighbor Rena Hale says Mitchell seemed like a normal guy.
“I saw him this week parking this blue car here, I would see him mowing the yard,” said Hale.
While Tandoc is gone, if you ask anyone who knows her, she will not be forgotten.
“The impact she left on me and on most people is taking a very simple idea and putting a lot of love in it, your heart and soul,” said Zachariah Musleh, who frequents Tanya’s Soup Kitchen.
Related KSN stories featuring Tanya Tandoc:
- Popular restaurant reopens in Wichita
- Local restaurant loses its location
- Cuisine for the Cure helps fight deadly disease
All of us in the Tanya’s Soup Kitchen family are deeply grieved by the tragic loss of our visionary leader Tanya Tandoc. We know she was loved by many in our community and beyond and our hearts go out to you. We are committed to ensuring her legacy lives on by continuing to serve you with the same quality you have come to expect from her dream restaurant-made reality in Tanya’s Soup Kitchen. After closing for a brief time to mourn, we will reopen. Please come celebrate Tanya’s life, share your stories of her over a bowl of soup and help ensure her vision continues for years to come. With much sadness and love in our hearts, Kelly Rae, Sarah O, and The Tanya’s Soup Kitchen Family.”– Note on door of Tanya’s Soup Kitchen
Wichita police announce arrest in murder of Tanya Tandoc
KSN Archives: Tanya’s Soup Kitchen
RELATED LINK | Tanya’s Spanish Gazpacho
What people are saying about Tanya
I love you. If there was ever any question about that, I am more sorry about that than anything else in my life. Your strength and courage inspired me and the fierceness of your love was awesome and terrifying. I will miss you forever or until we see each other again if I am so lucky. I will hold you in my mind and let you guide me to make better choices than I have made in the past. I wish we hadn’t spent so much time estranged from each other and I regret every second of that time. Now I am holding you in my heart forever and I will never let you go again.
Be still, my sister, I hope to see you again someday.”
-Warren Tyler Tandoc, Tanya’s brother