Teens suspected of killing mom in custody

June 17, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
Two suspected teenager killers are in custody in the Bay Area and one of them is just 14 years old. It was her mother police say that they killed.

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Police believe they have a motive, if in fact they did kill Joanne Witt. Investigators have said they believe the mother was trying to prevent the relationship between the two teens.

14-year-old Tylar Witt and 19-year-old Steven Boston Colver's run from the law ended Wednesday morning at the San Bruno Town Center strip mall. Police cordoned off the parking lot between an AT&T store and a Red Lobster restaurant, with a large dumpster in between.

Police are not releasing any details about how the pair was found or taken into custody. Mall worker Jeysol Urbina told ABC7 she saw a black Jeep surrounded by police cars.

"I think there was about three or four of them," she said.

Another witness told her what happened next.

"There was a guy and a girl dressed in black, like gothic. And, that they were getting pulled out and searched," Urbina recalled.

Police believe Witt's 47-year-old mother, Joanne Witt, was murdered in her home some time Friday. That night, Tylar and Colver checked in to the San Francisco Holiday Inn on Van Ness Avenue. Joanne's body was found on Monday morning. Later that day Colver's car was towed from the 500 block of O'Farrell in San Francisco.

Friends left messages on Colver's Facebook page urging him to stop running. One message said, "You once told me you would never be capable of such a thing. Prove me right."

Investigators say Joanne Witt was stabbed.

"It was some kind of stabbing instrument, but we don't know what it was," said Capt. Craig Therkildsen.

El Dorado County sheriffs said Wednesday that all the families involved are devastated. Investigators are relieved.

"I think we've all taken, the community and the sheriff's department, has taken a big sigh of relief they're in custody," said Capt. Therkildsen.

The Sacramento Bee also is reporting that Colver was renting a room from Joanne Witt, but she threw him out after finding out he and her daughter were intimately involved.

The suspects were questioned for hours on Wednesday, before being booked into jail. Detectives are staying very tight-lipped about what, if anything, the suspects said, but over the past several days, investigators have gathered a lot of new information.

"For someone to do that, to kill their mom over a relationship, for something like that, it's just unbelievable," said El Dorado Hills resident Jonathan Douglas.

The 14-year-old posted a blog on her MySpace page professing her love for Colver saying "You are the only one who keeps me myself. So by losing you, even for a day, I feel like I'm losing part of myself."

This outraged her mother. Sheriff's department records show, on May 18th, deputies were called to their home after a woman claimed her daughter assaulted her. Sources say the very next day, Joanne Witt called authorities to report a sexual assault and wanted to press charges.

El Dorado authorities say they will pick up the suspects sometime in the next five days.

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