The 18-year-old North Carolina teen accused of beheading his mother with a kitchen knife on Monday has been emotionally troubled for years, according to details uncovered by media outlets in the Franklin County area, 190 miles east of Charlotte.
One family friend claims the teen was released from a mental health facility just a week before the killing.
Oliver Funes-Machado now sits in Raleigh’s Central Prison, charged with first degree murder in the killing of his 35-year-old mother, Yesenia Funes Beatriz Machado. He is also wanted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement for being in the country illegally.
Investigators have said his mother was decapitated and her face and body were mutilated. It happened Monday afternoon in a rural community in Franklin County, east of Zebulon. No motive for the killing has been determined.
District Attorney Mike Waters told media outlets that a mental evaluation of the suspect was to be performed. Search warrants reveal deputies found four medications labeled as being for the suspect on a bedroom dresser. TV station WNCN reports Funes-Machado was recently released from a mental health facility, by court order.
“About 14 years old he started being very isolated,” a family friend Miriam Banegas told WNCN, through an interpreter. “He didn’t want to go out to parties. He didn’t want to go anywhere. So he would remain to himself, in his room pretty much all the time.”
The Franklin County Times reports Funes-Machado completed the 10th grade at Rolesville High. He attended another high school in the fall of 2015, but was transferred after a month to a school for students dealing with academic, behavioral or emotional issues. He eventually dropped out of that school, the Times reported.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Funes-Machado is originally from Honduras and has been living in the country illegally. He reportedly told court officials that he had been in the country 12 or 13 years. The family includes two younger siblings, ages 2 and 4, who were home at the time of the killing, but unharmed.
His father has been identified as Walter Mauricio Machado
Public defender C. Boyd Sturges III had described Funes-Machado as a “pretty profoundly disturbed young man.”
Some court officials are predicting it could take weeks, if not months, to get answers from the suspect, who is scheduled to make a court appearance next week.
The case has attracted international attention due to the grisly, details, including the fact that Funes-Machado called 911 himself and walked out of the home to greet sheriff’s deputies with a kitchen knife in one hand and his mother’s head in the other.
He reportedly told a 911 dispatcher that he killed his mother “because I felt like it.”