PHOENIX - A Phoenix woman has been arrested, accused of murdering and dismembering her elderly mother.
Phoenix police Sgt. Trent Crump said officers early Monday morning responded to a call of a deceased person inside a home near 47th Avenue and Cactus Road after 42-year-old Carol Hatley walked over to a neighbor's to house report her mother "was dead."
Regina Martin said she was the one who answered the door to Carol Hatley.
Martin said Hatley smelled of alcohol and was swaying. She had Carol sit down while they called 911.
Martin then said she walked Hatley back to the home of her 73-year-old mother Deborah Hatley and waited until paramedics arrived.
Martin assumed that Hatley has passed away from cancer, until Carol said something that didn't make sense.
"She said, 'Oh it was so bloody,'" said Martin, "and I said, 'What's so bloody?"
When crews arrived, officers said they found Deborah Hatley outside the bedroom area of the home.
Sgt Crump said officers found garbage bags strewn about the area, and it appeared as if someone was trying to dismember Hatley to dispose of the body.
Carol Hatley provided a statement to police regarding the circumstances of her mother's death and was arrested on one count of second degree murder.
"It sounds like their past relationship has been rocky from other family members. We are also learning about prescription drug and alcohol abuse from family members that they say may have played a role in this," said Crump.
Detectives said they don't know what the motive was, but know the two and one other family member had had a heated discussion over whether Deborah should be allowed to continue driving.
Police said because of the trauma to Deborah Hatley's body, it could be several days before the Medical Examiner can determine exactly how she was killed.
Friends said Deborah was a kind woman who lived in the same home since the early 1970s. Deborah acted like a second mother to non-relatives, and would have bent over backwards to help her three children, they said.