Warren Behlau was away on a business trip and almost 8 hours away when he watched his wife be killed on camera.
Trigger warning: This report contains graphic descriptions of violence that readers may find disturbing
Warren Behlau got the shock of his life when he routinely checked his home security camera. His 19-year-old son Garrett Behlau was strangling his wife to death. Behlau immediately dialed 911 but before help could arrive, his wife was lifeless. Behlau had watched his son kill his wife, 54-year-old Theresa, at their home in Chattanooga, Tennessee, while he sat helpless almost eight hours away. He then watched his teenage son drag her body out of view from the camera, according to arrest documents. The teenager now faces charges of murdering his mother, reported The Sun.
Behlau had traveled out of town for work when he randomly checked the security installed at their home in Chattanooga, Tennessee. He called the Chattanooga Police at about 2.30 p.m. and urged them to rush to his home. When the cops arrived, they found Garrett sitting on his bedroom floor. On questioning him about his mother's whereabouts, Behlau pointed to forests and said his mother was in the woods, the affidavit read. The cops organized a search for Theresa and found her body in the forest. The 54-year-old's head had been covered in plastic.
"Based on evidence obtained at the scene and interview of Behlau, investigators determined the woman's death was a criminal act caused by Behlau," said officials, reported Chattanoogan.com . Behlau recorded footage of the horrific incident and shared the security footage with the cops. The video showed the 19-year-old strangling his mother and dragging her body away from view. Garrett later returned with paper towels to clean the area. Police officers found paper towels in a bin inside their family home.
The police report failed to mention the boy had autism, but more than 10 neighbors claimed that the teenager was autistic. A neighbor said the incident was a wake-up call to address the mental health issues in the country and called for better mental health awareness. "It’s hard to think about because they tried everything they could to help their son and it didn’t work and it’s partly because the mental health system in this country is awful. It’s awful," Lissa Dearing, a neighbor, told NewsChannel 9 . The family was relatively new to the area, having only moved in only recently and emailed the neighbors that her son had autism. Dearing reiterated what many of her neighbors said, and stated that is Garrett Behlau severely autistic. The neighbors are now trying to support the family in any way they can.
Garrett is now facing charges including criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Officials said, "Based on evidence obtained at the scene and interview of Behlau, investigators determined the woman's death was a criminal act caused by Behlau." The 19-year-old was given a $300,000 bond. He was later bonded out on Thursday. The Chattanooga Police department has asked anyone with information regarding this incident to call the CPD Homicide tip line at 423-643-5100 or submit tips by downloading CPD's mobile app, Chattanooga PD Mobile.
COVER IMAGE SOURCE: Chattanooga Police