Autopsies were pending Monday for a Glendale couple whose grandson is listed as “a person of interest” in the homicide investigation, authorities said.
The grandson, Nathaniel Scheiern had been in “a solo vehicle car accident a few days ago. The accident was pretty significant, although not life threatening,” said Sgt. Robert William of the Glendale Police Department.
“He’s in an undisclosed hospital in stable condition,” William said.
William said investigators are not releasing the cause of death of the couple because the manner in which they died “is critical to the investigation.”
Investigators have not been able to talk to Scheiern, William said. While the decomposed bodies were found on Sunday, the time of death has not been determined, William said.
The bodies of the couple were found in their home in the 600 block of Alexander Street after police received a call about 9:30 a.m. Sunday from a family member concerned about not hearing from them, Glendale police said.
The dead man was identified as William Scheiern, 77, said coroner’s Chief Craig Harvey. He said the dead woman, who had not been positively identified as of late this morning, was in her 80s. She was identified in broadcast reports as Verna Scheiern.
Arriving officers found the door to the home open, and they went inside and found the bodies, William said.
Detectives determined at that point that the couple were the victims of a double homicide, and investigators backed out and obtained a search warrant for the premises, William said.
Nathaniel Scheiern is considered “a person of interest” in the case, in part because he lived with his grandparents and was not at the residence when their bodies were discovered, William said.
Also, he said, detectives found “no indication of a break-in,” and the home “was not ransacked.”
Detectives located Scheiern by reaching out to “a lot of family members,” William said.
Coroner’s personnel were investigating each victim’s cause, manner and time of death, William said.
A neighbor, Jim Stone, told ABC7 that he attended church with the victims, whom he described as “sweet, soft-spoken, nice people.”
Nathaniel Scheiern had lived with his grandparents for about a year, and Stone said it was a difficult situation.
“He was, let’s say, troubled, is a way of saying it, but they took him in anyway … though they had differences, to say the least,” Stone told ABC7.
Stone said several church members had questioned the couple about what was happening at their home.
“People would say, ‘Are you sure? Is it the best thing for you to do?’ ” Stone said. “And they said, ‘You know, we’re just not going to worry about that. We’re going to care for this young man, and help him through a difficult time.”
The couple may have last been seen at church on Father’s Day, which was on June 21, according to ABC7, which reported the bodies were “significantly decomposed.”
—City News Service