WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (TCD) -- A 21-year-old man was arrested for allegedly strangling his mother with a cord and leaving her body in a trash bag in his backyard.
According to the Allegheny County Police Department, on Dec. 9, a 52-year-old woman’s father reported her missing to the West Mifflin Police Department after not having heard from her for five days. WTAE-TV reports the missing woman was identified as Helene Nulty. The West Mifflin Police Department opened a missing person investigation the next day.
Investigators went to Nulty’s home on the 700 block of Eastman Street and communicated with her son Jonathan Nulty. WTAE reports Jonathan initially told police his mother left with her boyfriend and he had not seen her since.
During that time, an officer reportedly found a garbage bag in the backyard that contained her body, according to Allegheny County Police. According to WTAE, Jonathan told West Mifflin Police, "It was self-defense."
According to the criminal complaint cited by WTAE, Jonathan said he and his mother argued a lot and he said she would "nitpick" all of his decisions. On Dec. 1, Jonathan and Helene reportedly got into an argument and he reportedly told police she grabbed him by the throat. He allegedly grabbed an auxiliary cord and strangled her until she died. He then put her body in a trash bag and left it outside.
WPXI-TV, citing the criminal complaint, reports Jonathan told police he left his mom’s body outside because "it was colder and he didn’t want her to smell." He allegedly wanted to "dump her body in the river" but ultimately did not because he "couldn’t lift her." He reportedly kept her body in the backyard in order to "let Mother Nature take care of her."
Allegheny County Police said they charged Jonathan with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. Court records show he was denied bail.