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Oregon man suspected of killing his mother arrested in Willits

An Oregon man being sought in connection with the stabbing death of his mother in the town of Springfield, Ore., was traced to his father's Mendocino County home and arrested earlier this week, law enforcement officials said.

Sean Patrick Kelley, 24, was apprehended at a Willits residence Tuesday afternoon, after Mendocino County sheriff's deputies were alerted to his presence there and to an outstanding, no-bail warrant for his arrest, the sheriff's office said.

Kelley, who has a history of mental health issues, had been quickly identified as a suspect in his mother's death when police in Springfield, next to Eugene, discovered her dead in her home on Tuesday morning, Springfield Police Sgt. Dave Lewis said. Kelley had been arrested just more than two weeks earlier for threatening his mother with a knife, though he was later released without charges, Lewis said.

Then Tuesday, police were alerted by a neighbor to the death of Kelley's mother, Susan Carol Jackson, 59. It appeared she had been dead for a day or two, Lewis said, and her car was missing, suggesting whoever took it had a head-start.

Investigators learned that Kelley had family in northern California. They ran a nationwide license plate check on Jackson's car and discovered that the CHP had found it abandoned one day earlier near the small Plumas County town of Greenville, Lewis said. That's where Kelley's bother lives.

When they contacted the brother, detectives learned Kelley had gotten a ride to his dad's house in Willits, Lewis said.

Mendocino County sheriff's deputies were called for help and took Kelley into custody around 4:45 p.m. Tuesday. Police from Springfield drove down to pick him up Wednesday and by Thursday already had him in their local jail, Lewis said.

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