Son under arrest in woman's murder

April 1, 2008 4:55:58 PM PDT
A 17-year-old boy from New Jersey is charged with murdering his mother. The body of 46-year-old Karen Muglia was discovered in the basement of her home in Piscataway Monday morning. An autopsy revealed she was beaten to death with a crowbar.

New Jersey reporter Anthony Johnson has the latest from is New Brunswick, where the suspect appeared in court.

It appears that this tragedy was a result of a fight over the family car. Police say the suspect used the crowbar to beat his mother in the head and neck. She died of blunt force trauma.

"She was a great mother," neighbor Pete Bonapace said. "I still can't imagine how this could've happened."

A police officer now guards the Spencer Street home where the murder took place. Authorities say Muglia lived in the home with her 17-year-old son, who is now charged in the murder.

"Killing someone, that's a big number," neighbor George Muho said. "That's why I think there had to be some kind of extenuating circumstance."

The suspect, who authorities only identify with the initials V.M., is a senior at Piscataway High School. Students say he was also a member of a local rock bank.

Authorities spent Monday night collecting evidence inside the home after police found the lifeless body in the basement. They were called to the scene after Muglia did not show up for work.

In family court Tuesday, the teen faced murder charges and may eventually be charged as an adult.

Muglia was a single mother who worked at a local apartment complex.

The teen is due back in court April 18. At this point it is not clear when the victim was killed, but neighbors say they last saw her Friday.