PALM COAST, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office says they arrested a man for allegedly strangling his elderly mother to death Wednesday.
Deputies say they arrested 62-year old Richard Guyton Mathews of Palm Coast for Manslaughter in connection with the death of his 88-year old mother Mary Shaw Matthews.
Investigators say Mary was found dead inside her home on Ellsworth Drive in Palm Coast back in February.
Deputies and paramedics say they responded to the home shortly before 7 p.m. on that evening where they found the elderly woman deceased, seated in a chair in the living room.
Detective say there were no apparent signs of trauma to the body. Deputies contacted the woman's primary care physician who advised that he would sign the death certificate. Deputies then assisted family members in arranging for removal of the body.
Several days later, an employee of Lohmans Funeral Home in Palm Coast contacted detectives and told them that during a meeting with the woman's son Richard to discuss funeral arrangements; Richard who was reportedly "highly intoxicated" broke down and conveyed to them that his mother had asked him to kill her.
Official say Richard told the funeral home employees that he first tried to take his mothers' life by strangling her and that he was unable to go through with her request after which he gave her a quantity of sleeping pills.
Upon learning of this new information, detectives contacted the 23rd District Medical Examiner's Office in St. Augustine and arranged for an autopsy of the woman's body. Following the examination, the Medical Examiner ruled the death a homicide by strangulation.
Toxicology results showed high levels of several medications present in the woman's body.
Detectives contacted Mathews who agreed to speak with them about his mother's death and his statements to staff at the funeral home. During questioning by detectives, Mathews made statements consistent with the medical examiners findings as to the cause of the woman's death.
Mathews was transported to the Flagler County Detention Facility where he is being held on $250,000 bond.