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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
News >  Crime/Public Safety

Deputies say woman shot and killed her 35-year-old son, cut off his head and dumped his body

Jan. 17, 2023 Updated Tue., Jan. 17, 2023 at 9:10 p.m.

A 58-year-old woman confessed to shooting and killing her 35-year-old son, cutting off his head and dumping his body last summer near Rock Lake in Whitman County, according to the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.

Christine D. Catelli was booked into the Spokane County Jail on Sunday and charged with suspicion of second-degree murder in the killing of Chase Catelli, who authorities identified in court documents.

Spokane County deputies responded to a call around 8:50 p.m. Saturday, the Spokane County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release. The caller, Christine Catelli’s brother, stated his sister confessed Saturday to shooting her son last June. He said Chase Catelli had not been seen since then and that he believed his sister was telling the truth.

Deputies contacted Christine Catelli at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center parking lot in Spokane, the release said. The brother, who documents say convinced his sister to turn herself in, told deputies Christine Catelli had been under a lot of stress and struggled with substance abuse, but he thought she had been doing better.

The brother drove Christine Catelli from his home in Western Washington to Spokane County to report the crime and help law enforcement in finding the body, deputies said.

Christine Catelli confessed to the killing, deputies said.

The shooting happened at a residence in the 1400 block of West Jennings Road west of Spangle.

She told detectives she shot her son five or six times in the chest and head because she “didn’t want him to suffer,” court records say. The documents don’t indicate why Catelli allegedly killed her son.

Christine Catelli led investigators to Gene Webb Road near Rock Lake, and directed authorities to a small concrete bridge that ran perpendicular to the road and over Kamiache Creek, documents say. She said she wrapped her son’s body in black plastic and dropped him over the side of the bridge and into the brush.

She said she discarded other pieces of evidence along the way, according to the release.

Christine Catelli told investigators she cut off her son’s head with a saw before wrapping it in plastic and also dumping it. She said she threw his plastic-wrapped head into the trees along the south bank of the creek.

A detective located a large black plastic bag containing human remains in the exact area Christine Catelli advised, the sheriff’s office said.

Christine Catelli made her initial appearance Tuesday in Spokane County District Court. She remained in jail Tuesday night.

The sheriff’s office is investigating.

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