Colorado couple Brendan Lee Johnson, 19, and Cassandra Ann Rieb, 18, have admitted to killing Johnson’s grandparents in order to obtain their inheritance.
Johnson and Rieb allegedly entered the home of Charles and Shirley Severance, both 70 years old, with the intent of smothering the elderly couple with pillows. After the couple resisted the attack, Johnson attempted to choke his grandfather, who likely died of a heart attack, Fox News reports. Rieb also attempted to strangle Shirley Severance, who was ultimately stabbed by her grandson.
Johnson and Rieb planned to burn both bodies and scatter the remains, but were unable to move Charles’ body due to its weight. Instead, they scattered Shirley’s remains and contacted the police to report discovering Charles’ body. Reuters reports that law enforcement officials have found partial remains of Shirley Severance in a reservoir near her Sterling home as well as in Lorenzo, Nebraska, which was in the direction the teenage couple fled.
The elderly couple’s inheritance consisted of their home, which was valued at $47,000, as well as a modest amount of money.
According to CBS News, Johnson and Rieb could face charges of first-degree murder, aggravated robbery, forgery and theft. Although a motive was initially unclear, both Johnson and Rieb have since admitted that they planned to obtain the couple’s inheritance and that they acted together to carry out the murders. They are being held without bail.