Thursday, May 24, 2018
Public safety

Homeless man in Crystal River strangles, stabs and buries his mother, deputies say

Deputies arrested a 23-year-old homeless man Saturday who they said strangled, stabbed and then buried his mother in a shallow grave.

The Citrus County Sheriff's Office was looking for Benjamin Dick about 3 p.m. Saturday in connection to a separate stabbing.

When they arrived at a known homeless camp behind Farmer's Furniture in Crystal River, witnesses said Dick had killed his mother.

While searching the area, they found what looked to be a grave. Witnesses told the deputies that the night before, Dick, his girlfriend and a man named Shannon Parker, 28 and also homeless, were drinking with Dick's mother.

Dick got into an argument with his girlfriend and started to choke her, deputies said. Then Dick's mother, Jennifer Brooks, 42, made a derogatory statement toward his girlfriend, authorities said. Dick attacked his mother and the struggle led to an area behind a tent and into a ravine, deputies said. He strangled and stabbed Brooks, then enlisted his friend to help bury the body, investigators said.

Dick was arrested on several charges including second-degree murder. Parker was arrested and charged with being an accessory to murder after the fact and witness tampering.

The incident was still under investigation.

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