A 21-year-old Joliet man repeatedly stabbed his mother and then dragged her lifeless body to a car, drove it to the Des Plaines River and dumped it into the water, Joliet Police Cmdr. Brian Benton said.
Charles McCullum was charged with first-degree murder Thursday in connection with the attack. The body of Jeanie Parker, 54, has not yet been recovered and a search of the river between the Jefferson and McDonough street bridges continues, Benton said.
McCullum confessed to police that he stabbed his mother numerous times in the 118 Fifth Ave. home they shared after becoming enraged during an argument. No details on what the fight was about were available, but the pair had a "history of conflict," Benton said.
Neighbors alerted police to Parker's disappearance Thursday morning after McCullum showed up on their doorstep "acting erratically" and then Parker failed to meet them at the time when they typically got together, he said.
When police arrived, they found a large amount of blood outside the house and a blood trail leading to the inside of the garage, Benton said. Parker's blue Dodge Intrepid was missing.
Police put out a bulletin for the car and McCullum, and stopped him in the car at about 10 a.m. The inside of the vehicle was covered in blood, as was McCullum, Benton said.
After obtaining a search warrant, officers explored the house and garage, where they found more blood and were able to recover what they believe to be the murder weapon, he said.
Benton added that a third person also lived in Parker's house but he was not home at the time of the murder and is not believed to be involved.
No information was available Thursday night as to whether police had previously been called to the Fifth Avenue home or if McCullum had a criminal record.
A "person of interest" is being interviewed in connection with a missing Joliet woman who police believe may be the victim of foul play, Joliet Police Cmdr. Brian Benton said.
The missing person report was filed this morning, and there are "suspicious circumstances" surrounding her disappearance, Benton said.
"It's our belief that foul play is involved," he said.
Beyond that, however, he declined to provide any other details until more information is available.
Sources say a police search of the Des Plaines River currently under way is connected to missing person case.
Check Joliet Patch later for more details as they become available.