The 72-year-old woman had a restraining order against the son processed and approved, but it was never served.
Neighbors say that this neighborhood is laid back and quiet. But Monday at 4 a.m. officers responded to an alarm on C Street.
"They saw obvious signs of a break-in to the home and could see through the window that there was a person down on the ground inside. So they forced entry, they found the victim who was obviously deceased," said San Rafael police spokesperson Margo Rohrbacher.
It wasn't long before investigators thought of the victim's son, Richard Leroy Carlson, who lives in Oakland.
"In January we responded to a report of a violent confrontation between the resident and Mr. Carlson and that report was documented and sent to the DA's office for review. So given what has happened this morning, it's logical that we would want to speak to him," said Rohrbacher.
Police are not saying how the woman died, they aren't even releasing her name, but the questions they were asking neighbors, suggests painful violence.
"The police woke me up at seven this morning and asked if I had heard any screams or anything outside the house and I said no," said neighbor Dustin Lucchesi.
Until this crime is solved, there are some people who'll be changing the way they live.
"I'll just be making sure that the doors are locked I guess. But, we probably will still go out and carry pepper spray," said neighbor Miranda Whong.
A remodeling truck pulled up to the crime scene on Monday morning and the police turned him away. The victim had hired a company to put reinforcements in her doors so that she could feel safer.
Those with other information on the case are asked to call police at (415) 485-3000.