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A schizophrenic Florida man chopped off his mother's head with an ax because she kept nagging him about chores, police said Thursday. Christian Jose Gomez, 23, who has several previous arrests, was booked on a charge of first-degree murder for the grisly New Year's Eve crime in Oldsmar.
He allegedly told police he had been planning the attack for two days because he was angry over his mother's requests that he put some boxes in the attic, NBC station WFLA reported. Gomez put his mother's head in a garbage can but couldn't lift her body so he left it outside.
"He just left the body sitting there, next to the trash can, went into the garage, tried to clean up the scene a little bit," Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri said. "When he saw that wouldn’t happen is when he left."
The body was discovered by victim Marua Suarez Cassagne's older son, who was home at the time but didn't realize what was happening.
Police found the suspect a few blocks away and arrested him after a brief chase. The sheriff said he is a diagnosed schizophrenic who is supposed to be taking medication and was committed for psychiatric evaluation at least once last year.
A relative told NBC News that she believes Gomez was "a good person" whose illness overwhelmed him.
"She was a really good mother," the family member said of Cassagne. "And Christian was normal until like age 20 — I think when he was diagnosed.
"It's so confusing what happened," she said. "It's scary."
— Tracy Connor