MADISON TOWNSHIP, Ohio - Madison Township police said 52-year-old Danna Weimer and her 22-year-old son, Zack Weimer, robbed 77-year-old Eleanor Robertson, killed her and then hid her body.
The Weimers used to live across the street from Robertson on Canterbury Drive in Madison Township, located in eastern Lake County.
Police said the Weimers showed up at Robertson's door and might have been let in because there was no forced entry to the home.
The mother and son were charged in court Thursday with murder and aggravated burglary.
Neighbor Bob Arnold saw something unusual while walking his dog Wednesday morning and called police.
"Five o'clock Wednesday morning, the garage door was open and the van was gone -- and that's not typical of her," said Arnold.
Arnold's wife was asked by Robertson's concerned son to climb through a window, and she found the place ransacked.
Candles were lit throughout the house in an attempt to burn the place down and chairs were used to jam doors.
Police said Danna and Zach Weimer killed the grandmother during the robbery and hid her body under stuff in the bedroom.
Euclid police made a traffic stop on a car the Weimers were driving Wednesday night and found some of Robertson's belongings.
Madison Police Chief Leonard Del Calzo said the Weimers fit the profile of a recent trend among drug addicted burglars, stealing gold jewelry to sell for cash to buy heroin.
"We're seeing an increase in burglaries and it's related to heroin use and it's also related to the fact that folks can steal gold and can exchange it quickly for cash -- and a lot of these regulations are in place for pawn shops but aren't in place for these cash for gold locations," Del Calzo said.
Police said Robertson's 1995 red Plymouth Voyager is still missing and that the Weimers were seen on surveillance video using the victim's vehicle Wednesday morning at various locations in Ashtabula County.
Chief Del Calzo said the medical examiner ruled Robertson's death a homicide and while a firearm was not used, the exact cause of death must still be determined.
Neighbors said Robertson was a very kind grandmother and neighbor who was looking forward to her high school reunion this summer. They believed it was her 50th high school reunion.
Painesville Municipal Court Judge Mike Cicconetti set bond for the Weimers at $1 million.
The Weimers pleaded not guilty.