Teenager who 'decapitated his mother and left home brandishing her head' to undergo mental evaluation

18-year-old calls 911 confessing to murder before police arrive to gruesome scene

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An 18-year-old North Carolina man decapitated his mother and then walked out the front door of her house holding her head in his hand while wielding a knife in the other, authorities said.

The suspect was charged with first-degree murder Monday after he called 911 to say he had killed his mother, according to a news release from the Franklin County Sheriff's office. Authorities say he was arrested without offering resistance, and his 35-year-old mother's body was found inside the home.

District Attorney Mike Waters said officials were seeking a mental evaluation of the suspect. His public defender, C. Boyd Sturges III, said that he spoke with him for an hour in the Franklin County jail.

“It does appear there's some substantial mental health issues involved in this case,” Sturges said. “I'm not a doctor, so I can't really elaborate. He's a pretty profoundly disturbed young man.”

Waters said due to the suspect's apparent mental state, “this is something that's going to take weeks and months for us to get some answers as to why this happened.”

Waters said the suspect was being transferred to Central Prison in Raleigh, and his next court appearance is scheduled for March 14.

Two young girls in the home were not hurt. A fourth child was in school when the attack occurred.

Deputies were searching the home hours after the body was discovered.

The exact names of the suspect and his mother were unclear. Local court records list the suspect's name as Oliver Funes Machada, Sturges said. Federal records list his name as Oliver Funes Machado, said US Immigration and Customs Enforcement spokesman Bryan Cox. In a news release, Cox said the suspect was from Honduras and was in the country illegally. Franklin County Chief Sheriff's Deputy Terry Wright gave the mother's name as Yesenia Beatriz Funez Machado, citing a spelling given to authorities by her 14-year-old son.

Neighbour Leona Smith told WRAL-TV she was still trying to come to grips with such a horrible crime happening so close by.

“It's very hurtful to know something like this ca happen in your own neighbourhood with such a quiet family with the standard white picket fence, trampoline, playground in the back,” she said. “To see the two younger children sitting in the ditch crying, it was heartbreaking.”

Mullins, the other neighbour, said the family had moved to the neighbourhood sometime around June. He didn't know them well, but he and his mother said they seemed friendly.

“If they were outside, they always waved at you,” said Clearsy Mullins.

On Tuesday, a group of people were at the house where the crime occurred loading a stroller and other belongings into two mini-vans. A neighbour who had stopped by to offer his condolences told a reporter that the people in the group didn't want to talk, and they left after about 20 minutes.

Randy Mullins said the suspect appeared placid as he sat handcuffed and the deputy was kneeling down to comfort the two younger children.

“He was sitting there like he didn't have a care in the world,” Mullins said of the suspect. “He didn't appear to be upset; he didn't appear to be crying.”