Sean Murphy went from shopping in Mansfield to Patriot Place on Thursday. In between, he went home to murder his mother with a kitchen knife, police say.
Why did the 21-year-old repeatedly stab Carlyn Murphy, 51, at their Plainville, Massachusetts, home, as police allege? It's one of the questions that remains unexplained.
What is known about the slaying has shocked the Murphys' quiet community.
"She was really nice," neighbor Natalie Tetreault said of the victim. "Seemed normal. Sean seemed normal, too. But you just never know."
THE STABBING IN THE KITCHEN
Murphy was out shopping with his father on Thursday night and asked him for the keys to their car, according to a Plainville police incident report. He drove to their home on Landau Road and brought shopping bags into the house.
He allegedly told police he took a knife from the family's butcher block and held it behind one of the bags, so his mother wouldn't see it, and waited until he had a chance to attack her.
"When he was able to, Sean said he stabbed her, wanting her to die quickly, but soon realized it took longer than expected, stating he should have stabbed his mother in the heart to make it quicker because she did not deserve that," an officer wrote in the incident report.
Police were called about 10:15 p.m. by the father, who told dispatchers that his wife had been stabbed, according to the incident report. He believed his son, Sean, had done it.
The officers who arrived found Carlyn Murphy on her back on the kitchen floor, having been stabbed in the chest and neck, police said. Around her body were a broken candle, a tipped-over vase and two large and apparently bloody carving knives.
Plainville police put out an alert for Sean Murphy and the car he was driving.
SEAN MURPHY'S ARREST
Murphy was taken into custody at Patriot Place carrying yet another knife a little over an hour after 911 was called, police said.
Foxboro police had found Murphy's car in a parking lot and waited until they saw him walking toward it to take him into custody, when they discovered the knife on him, according to the incident report from Plainville police.
Having been read his Miranda rights, Murphy was kept in the Foxboro police cruiser until Plainville police arrived and spoke to him, noting in their report afterward that he had a cut on his neck.
Murphy allegedly wanted to explain what happened to officers and gave his account of the attack at Plainville police headquarters. Afterward, he was arrested on a murder charge.
In Wrentham District Court the next day, a judge ordered Murphy held without bail after a not guilty plea was automatically entered on Murphy's behalf.
REACTION TO CARLYN MURPHY'S DEATH
The Murphy family has not yet made a statement about the alleged murder, but neighbors were shocked.
"I was in the same grade as Sean, and so, I grew up with him," said Tetreault, the neighbor who spoke to NBC10 Boston. "We rode the bus together. It’s really weird to hear about, actually."
Her brother, Ryan, said life on the street is usually normal: "We just don’t really see stuff like this often."
Carlyn Murphy's employer, medical technology firm Minimally Invasive Therapies Group, released a statement Friday expressing shock and sorrow over her death.
"We are shocked and saddened by the news of her passing and extend our deepest sympathies to her family. She and her family remain in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time," the statement read.
WHAT WE DON'T KNOW
The police report didn't say what time they believe Sean Murphy killed his mother, or when he left Mansfield to do it.
Nor did it say what Murphy is believed to have done afterward at Patriot Place.
And, while Murphy allegedly told police he that he wanted his mother to die quickly, they didn't say in the report why they think he wanted to kill her.