Warren Behlau called the Chattanooga Police Department on Wednesday afternoon after he found disturbing footage on the home security camera which seemed to show his 19-year-old son Garrett Behlau strangling his wife "until she was lifeless." He informed officers that he was currently about eight hours away.
Officers responded to the residence to perform a wellfare check and found Garrett sitting on the floor of his bedroom. When asked where his mother was, he is reported to have told officers, "in the woods."
Officers soon located the body of 54-year-old Theresa Behlau with plastic wrapped around her head.
Chattanooga Police issued a press release indicating that "based on evidence obtained at the scene and interview of the adult male, investigators determined the woman's death was a criminal act caused by the adult male."
Mr. Behlau sent the footage that had been recorded to the investigators. From the footage, they additionally saw Garrett, after he had drug his mother's body away from the view of the camera, return with paper towels in order to clean up the site.
Officers located paper towels with what appeared to be some of the victim's hair in the trash can.
Garrett was arrested and charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. His bond was set at $250,000 and he is in custody in the Hamilton County Jail. He is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday morning at 8:30 am before Judge Lila Statom.
A visitation is scheduled for Monday, August 24th for Theresa at the St. Jude Catholic Church at 1:00 pm with a funeral mass to follow at 4:00 pm.
“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,” WTVC quoted neighbor Lissa Dearing as saying.
According to the neighbors, Garrett is not a criminal but rather, has autism.