Waterbury police have arrested a 17-year-old boy who is accused of killing his mother during what a witness described as a fight over using her car.
Police said the teen, Elijah Johnson, is accused of killing his mother in her home in January. He has been charged with murder. He is being held on $1 million and is being tried as an adult.
Austin was a director at Connecticut Renaissance, a nonprofit company that helps state prisoners transition into the community and a student with the Institute for Municipal and Regional Policy at Central Connecticut State University conducted an interview with her in 2011.
The teen told police he found his mother dead when he got home, but the arrest warrant application says there were several inconsistencies.
Johnson told police he had found his mother when he came home from school, noticed blood and cleaned the blood from her face and the area around her, according to police documents.
He was unemotional when police arrived, authorities noted, and the blood on his pants was dried.
There were no signs of forced entry and no reports of unusual noises coming from the home, police said at the time.
As police investigated, they learned that Johnson had hit his mother in the head with a steel pot or frying pan on Jan. 14, a week before she was found dead.
Johnson told police that he'd been home alone on the day it happened, saw a "suspicious guy" with a hoodie walking around outside.
Then someone opened the door and came inside, so Johnson hit the person in the head several times until hearing his mother say, "Elijah, it's me. It's me," according to police.
He was wearing gloves and a mask at the time, witnesses would tell police during the investigation.
When Austin went to the emergency room at Waterbury Hospital to be evaluated, doctors told her she suffered a concussion, according to police.
Austin stayed home from work for several days after because of the head injury and headaches.
Johnson is a student at Sacred Heart High School in Waterbury and the school dismissed early on Jan. 21 because of the forecast for snow.
He told police that his mother was going to drive him to school that morning, but then told him to take the car because his head was pounding. This was the first time she allowed him to take the car alone, he told police.
When police spoke with Austin's friends, they said she would never have let Johnson drive the car unless she was with him because he had only a learner's permit. Austin was also still paying for the car, according to friends.
Friends of Austin had also told police that she had been upset because Johnson told her he wanted to take a year off from school after high school rather than go to college right away.
On Saturday, a witness reported to police that the teen’s father said his son confessed to accidentally killing his mom during a fight over taking her car. He told her that Austin fell into furniture when he pushed her, according to police.
Police said they believe that Austin had been dead several hours by the time the 911 call was made and the blood on Johnson's pants appeared to be dried.
Johnson's room was the only one that had been ransacked, police said. The drawers of a dresser had been pulled out and the contents appeared to have been carefully placed on the bed.
An Xbox and a Wii gaming system were in the room and nothing seemed to be missing, police said.
Johnson was arrested on Sunday and is being held on $1 million bond.
Sacred Heart is offering counseling to students who need it.
"The arrest of a Sacred Heart High School student comes as tragic and distressing news. We ask that the student body and extended community pray for his mother, for the student and his family. We will respect the family’s privacy and would ask the Sacred Heart community to do so as well," a statement from President Eileen Regan and Principal Anthony Azzara states.