By: KDKA-TV's Jennifer Borrasso and Royce Jones
WEST MIFFLIN, Pa. (KDKA) -- A man is accused of using a phone charger cord to strangle his mother, wrapping her body in garbage bags and leaving her in the backyard of their home in West Mifflin.
Police said they were investigating a report of a missing 52-year-old woman when they found her dead in the 700 block of Eastman Street at about 12:45 p.m. Friday.
Her son, 21-year-old Jonathan Nulty, is facing charges of criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with evidence in his mother's death, identified by police as Helene Nulty.
When police came to their house Thursday, investigators said Jonathan told them his mom was with her boyfriend, but he didn't know his name or where he lived. When they came back Friday, they found her body in the backyard.
Jonathan told police he killed his mother in self defense and he felt she emotionally and physically abused him, saying she nitpicked him and didn't like his marijuana use.
Police said he told investigators he got into a fight with his mother on Dec. 1. He said she grabbed him by the throat, and he found a phone charger cord to strangle her with, according to the criminal complaint.
Jonathan told police he was going to dump her body in the river but he couldn't lift her, so he was going to bury her in the backyard instead and "let mother nature take care of her."
Police had responded to the home for numerous domestic calls between Jonathan and Helene in the past, the criminal complaint said. In June, Jonathan was convicted on felony drug charges.
One neighbor told KDKA-TV's Royce Jones she saw police activity near the home late Thursday night.
"I just seen flashing lights and I looked out and it was the police, probably about 11 p.m.," she said. "They left probably about two minutes later."
WATCH: KDKA's Royce Jones Reports
Another neighbor said the victim had lived there for about 20 years, adding that she would see the victim's son there sometimes.
An official cause and manner of death will be released by the Allegheny County Medical Examiner, police said.
Anyone with information about this case is urged to call 1-833-ALL-TIPS.
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