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Son arrested after woman found dead in Phoenix home

Posted: 12:21 PM, Nov 27, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-27 17:17:56-05
Harlen Shelton

PHOENIX — Court documents show new details in the murder of a 74-year-old woman at the hands of her son.

Police were called to a home on Wednesday near 12th Street and Indian School Road around 2:30 p.m. for a report of a death.

Inside the home, Tina Topali was found dead, and police began speaking with the woman's son.

During the investigation, it was learned that Topali suffered defensive stab wounds to both her hands and multiple cuts, punctures, and trauma to her head. Police say she was wrapped in garbage bags, then rolled into a comforter that was tied with a rope.

Court records show that the victim's cane and her damaged glasses were found in the home of her son, 50-year-old Harlen Shelton.

Shelton's brother called the police after finding his mother's body. Police say Harlan asked his brother to help him move the body. Harlan also allegedly told police that his mother had been dead in the bathroom for two to three days.

He is being held on a $750,000 bond on charges of tampering with evidence, concealing a dead body, and second-degree murder.