MURRIETA, Calf. - A 21-year-old Murrieta man was charged today with murdering his grandmother, who went missing last week, and another young man was charged with being an accessory.
Kyle Roger McLean, along with Neil Michael Erickson, 18, of Wildomar, were arrested Monday in connection with the disappearance of 71-year-old Catherine Sutton of Murrieta, now presumed dead.
McLean ,who is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at the Southwest Detention Center, is charged with murder and a sentence-enhancing allegation of committing a felony while on bail.
Erickson, who is being held at the same jail in lieu of $500,000 bail, is accused of being an accessory to murder.
Both were scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at the Southwest Justice Center.
``The decision to arrest the suspects was based on our interviews with them, the scene of the crime and evidence located at the scene,'' Murrieta police Lt. Tony Conrad told City News Service on Monday.
According to Conrad, one of Sutton's family members contacted Murrieta police around 10 p.m. Sunday to report her missing from her two-story house at 27618 Graystone Lane.
``It was kind of a combined missing person, check-the-welfare call,'' Conrad told CNS.
Officers searched the property but could not locate Sutton. Conditions inside the home, which Conrad declined to describe, immediately led to suspicions of foul play.
``She didn't just wander away,'' the lieutenant said.
He said detectives spoke with neighbors and spent hours processing the scene.
McLean was detained at his grandmother's house, which is located at the end of a cul-de-sac that backs up to Interstate 215.
Both defendants were questioned for hours at the police department before the decision was made to place them under arrest, according to Conrad.
According to court records, McLean was arrested on June 24 for allegedly being in possession of controlled substances and drug paraphernalia. He was free on bond at the time of his arrest for murder.
Sutton's whereabouts remain a mystery. Although she is presumed dead, police posted a description of the woman in case anyone recalls seeing her over the weekend or last week. She was described as white, about 5-foot-4 and 125 pounds, with light brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information should call Murrieta police at (951) 696-3615.