Father helplessly watches as home camera shows autistic teen son strangling his mother and dragging her body away

The 19-year-old choked his mother "until she was lifeless."

Trigger warning: contains details of murder which may be distressing to some

A man who was out of town, around eight hours away from his home in Chattanooga, watched a brutal crime committed inside his house, and yet there was nothing he could do at the time. 

19-year-old Garrett Behlau's father called the police after he saw the chilling footage of his son strangling his 54-year-old mother, and dragging her body away.

The terrifying clips of his son strangling his mother, recorded by the home security camera, prompted the father to ring up the police and inform them that his 19-year-old son, Garrett Behlau, had choked the mother 54-year-old mother, Theresa Behlau, "until she was lifeless," as quoted by Hamilton County court records, according to Chattanooga Times Free Press. As the father watched in horror, he also saw his son dragging the mother's body until they could no longer be seen in the camera's view.

It was reported that at around 2:30 p.m., the police were informed and when they arrived at the house in the Waterhaven subdivision, situated along South Chickamauga Creek, they found Garrett in his bedroom.

The boy was sitting on the floor and when the police asked him where his mother was, he replied that she was "in the woods."

In the woods, as Garrett told them, was where the police found the body of Theresa Behlau, dead. What they also found was that the teenager had wrapped his mother's head up in Saran wrap and he had also tried to clean up the murder scene using paper towels. The police had found the paper towels inside the house, dumped in a trash can.

The police had taken Garrett into custody and they had also received footage from the father, who watched it happen when he was just hours away.

Some reports suggest that Garrett cannot simply be compared to other criminals because they saw that the teenager had autism. A report from News Break mentions that Garrett is autistic while another from NewsChannel 9 says that the family had been trying everything they can to get Garrett the help he needed for his mental health issue before the horrifying murder.

Dan Ripper, who is Garrett's attorney, told NewsChannel 9, "At the end of the day here, you have a family that potentially has lost both a son and a mother. That's horrible. no family should ever have to deal with a circumstance like this. The family knows that Garrett has needed help and has taken steps to try and find him that help and was continuing to do so right up until the moment this happened."

A bond of $300,000 was set for Garrett, who was charged with criminal homicide, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence. His attorney mentioned that unless it was for medical treatment, Garrett would remain in custody at the Hamilton County Jail. The attorney added, "I'm looking for what provides Garrett the best opportunity to get the help he needs in the place that he needs to be."

It was also reported that neighbors who live in the same gated community as the Behlau family claimed that the police report failed to include that Garrett is living with autism. "All the neighbors are in shock" a neighbor, Lissa Dearing told NewsChannel 9. Lissa also said that Garrett's parents tried everything they could to get their son the help he needed, adding that the neighbors, too, were protective of the teen.

Lissa added, "It’s hard to think about because they tried everything they could to help their son and it didn’t work and it’s partly because the mental health system in this country is awful. It’s awful."

The Chattanooga neighborhood was said to have been heartbroken by the incident.

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