The son of an 80-year-old woman brutally beaten to death overnight Wednesday in central Fresno has been arrested and booked on murder charges, Fresno County Jail records show.
Late Wednesday, Fresno police said they had detained the son, identified as James Albert Thomas, 50, and said he was undergoing questioning. His mother was identified by police Thursday as Flora Thomas of Fresno.
The 80-year-old woman died of blunt-force trauma after she was attacked in her home at Vagedes and Weldon avenues, a quiet, tree-lined street near Clinton and Fruit avenues, according to Lt. Joe Gomez. A granddaughter called police at 7:46 a.m. Wednesday after arriving at the Fresno High-area home to check on the woman.
Gomez said the son reportedly had a strained relationship with his mother and other family members. Boards at the back of the home had been ripped off a fence, and Gomez said it was possible the killer entered the home through the yard to attack the woman, who police believe lived alone.
“Shocking,” was the word Gomez used to describe the slaying.
Later in the morning, police discovered the suspect’s motorcycle downtown near Highway 41.