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This story was updated at 3:17 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, with more information.

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Garrett Warren Behlau

A 19-year-old man was arrested Wednesday after his father called Chattanooga police upon watching home security footage he said showed the teen strangling his mother to death.

At around 2:30 p.m., Chattanooga police were called to a home in the Waterhaven subdivision located along South Chickamauga Creek, according to a news release.

The caller told police he was about eight hours out of town but had just reviewed home security footage where he saw his son, Garrett Behlau, strangle his mother, Theresa Behlau, "until she was lifeless," Hamilton County court records state. The man said he then saw Garrett Behlau drag his 54-year-old mother's body out of the camera's view.

When police arrived at the home, they found Garrett Behlau sitting on the floor in his bedroom, according to court records.

They asked him where his mother was, and he told them "in the woods," police wrote in the criminal affidavit.

Police then searched the woods. There they found Theresa Behlau's lifeless body, her head covered in Saran wrap.

The father sent investigators the videos of the incident. The videos corroborated what he told police upon calling for help, authorities said.

Also, homicide investigators said, the videos show Garrett Behlau attempting to clean up the crime scene with paper towels.

Garrett Behlau was taken into custody shortly thereafter. He is charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence.

His bond was set to $300,000, and his first court appearance is scheduled for Aug. 25.

Chattanooga police ask anyone with information about the crime to call the homicide tip line at 423-643-5100 or to submit a tip through the department's mobile app. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Contact Rosana Hughes at rhughes@timesfreepress.com or follow her on Twitter @HughesRosana.

 

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