19-Year-Old Charged In Strangling Death Of His Mother At Waterhaven Home; Father 8 Hours Away Reviewed Video Of The Murder

Thursday, August 20, 2020
Garrett Behlau
Garrett Behlau

Garrett Behlau, 19, was arrested Wednesday and charged in the strangling death of his mother, Theresa Behlua, 54.

Police said his father, Warren Behlau, advised them that he was out of town eight hours away, but he found the incident was caught on video. He said he reviewed the video from his location.

Mr. Behlau said he saw his son strangling Ms. Behlau until she was lifeless. He then dragged her body out of view of the security camera.

On Wednesday at approximately 4:30 p.m., Chattanooga Police responded to a well-being check at a residence in the 2600 block of Waterfront Drive. They found Garrett Behlau sitting on the floor in his bedroom. Asked where his mother was, he said she was in the woods.

Police found the body of Ms. Behlau in the woods with saran wrap placed around her head.

Also on the video, the youth was observed taking paper towels and cleaning up the scene. In a trash can, police found the paper towels as well as what appeared to be some of the victim's hair.

Officials said, "Based on evidence obtained at the scene and interview of Behlau, investigators determined the woman's death was a criminal act caused by Behlau."

Behlau is charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence. He is in custody at the Hamilton County Jail. 

He is being held on bonds total $325,000.

Behlau is due to appear before General Sessions Court Judge Lila Statom on Tuesday at 8:30 a.m.

Chattanooga Police ask anyone with information regarding this incident to call the CPD Homicide tip line at 423-643-5100 or submit tips by downloading CPD's mobile app, Chattanooga PD Mobile, for free on iPhone and Android.


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