Police say a southern California man is facing several murder counts after attacking and fatally stabbing his own mother and uncle during a Zoom video call. Dr. Carolyn Brown, a school administrator, and her brother suffered the knife attack while four other school employees were on the video call, a spokesman for the college said.
According to the New York Times, police initially responded to a call about a possible kidnapping. Witnesses also saw a man being dragged by another man into a living room. But when they arrived at the scene, matters had taken a tragic turn.
Kenneth Preston, Brown’s brother, was found dead in the driveway of the house where the attack allegedly took place. He had suffered several stab wounds. The woman was found deceased inside the home, also having suffered a knife attack.
A hunting knife was discovered at the scene, but the victims’ son and nephew, 32-year-old Robert Cotton, was gone along with the family’s SUV. Nearly two hours after an investigation of the crime scene was underway, Cotton returned, tried to get by the yellow tape laid out by detectives and told police he was a “resident” of the Altadena home.
Cotton, Brown’s oldest son, was arrested on suspicion and booked on multiple murder counts, and according to the New York Times, his bond is set at $2 million. Police have yet to find a motive for the senseless murders.
“I don’t know what to say about him, because I don’t know him, but I know her and she’s such a good person,” a family friend told CBS LA.
Brown is remembered as a great member of her community. The 67-year-old mother worked at nearby Pasadena City College for over a decade as a co-coordinator of their black STEM program.
“I honestly feel so heartbroken, I feel so sad,” a former student told CBS LA about the stabbing. “When you don’t care where someone comes from, what they look like, what they might smell like or whatever, and you still treat them like they are the same as you, a doctor with a Ph.D. or whatever, it’s amazing.”