ROCKLEDGE, Fla. – Police swarmed a Rockledge neighborhood Thursday morning after a 16-year-old told two Brevard County deputies he had just killed his grandmother, according to police.
Rescue crews were called to South Carolina Avenue, west of Fiske Boulevard, to find the 57-year-old victim — later identified as Muriel Ladonna Emerson — dead in the kitchen of the home. Officers said they found the woman covered in a blanket with a large amount of blood pooled around her body.
Emerson was an investigator for the Florida Commission on Offender Review for the past ten years and worked as a probation officer prior to that, according to Rockledge Police Chief Joseph LaSata.
“The city experienced a heinous crime. It was calculated. It was brutal,” LaSata said during a news conference Thursday morning.
Investigators said the accused killer — Jaylin Christian, 16 — was spotted by deputies sitting on the ground near a gas station at 600 Clearlake Road in Cocoa. Deputies questioned the boy, who had cuts on his hand and blood on his shirt, and who told them he had just stabbed his grandmother, according to an arrest affidavit.
A deputy asked Christian how many times he stabbed his grandmother and the boy responded “Too many to count,” records show.
LaSata said several “large knives” were used in the attack.
Records show, Christian had skipped school earlier in the day and contacted 911 stating he had run away. Officers responded, contacted Emerson and had her come to pick up the 16-year-old.
Christian told police that once he was home, he started having homicidal thoughts and grabbed a knife from the kitchen, according to the affidavit. The boy then went into the victim’s office and began attacking her. The victim tried to run, according to police, and the knife broke, prompting Christian to get a second knife to continue his attack.
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According to the affidavit, the boy then packed some belongings, stole some money from the victim and her briefcase, and took a picture of the body before covering the woman with a blanket and leaving the home.
LaSata said the boy stated why he attacked his grandmother but added that he could not say what those intentions were. The chief added that the boy had only been living with his grandmother for the past six to eight months.
A man who lives nearby said he didn’t know much about the woman who occupied the home.
“I don’t know her name. I just know she loves playing with the kids. She’s quiet, shy. That’s about it,” Derek Crowe said.
Christian faces charges of first-degree murder and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Police said it would be up to the state attorney to determine whether the boy will be charged as an adult, but added that they believe he will be.
CSI with Brevard Co Sheriff’s Office here at the scene in Rockledge.— Ezzy Castro (@EzzyCastro) September 8, 2022
Investigators have made their way inside the home on S. Carolina Avenue.
Still no information from police. We are waiting for answers.
Live report at 6:30 @news6wkmg pic.twitter.com/xw41hJ8JHH
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