A woman from New Mexico has been charged with drugging her veteran grandfather, stuffing his body into a large toolbox, and telling people he lived in a fictitious nursing home.
Candy Jo Webb, 27, went on the run after a neighbor found AJ Harden’s decomposed body in mid-October, and investigators have started asking questions, court documents show.
But she was followed to Jacksonville, Florida, where U.S. Marshals picked her up on Thursday. She is charged with first degree murder and awaiting extradition to New Mexico, police said Friday.
Criminal complaint against Webb says police learned that Harden, 82, had died when Fort Sumner resident Chad Abeyta noticed a foul odor coming from a toolbox thrown onto property near his home and made the macabre discovery.
The remains were badly rotten, but a medical appointment card with Harden’s name was found in the clothes pocket. Then investigators discovered that Harden had a connection to the cemetery: her granddaughter had lived on the property with her boyfriend, Shawn Perkins.
As News from Eastern New Mexico reported earlier this week, Webb told police she took her 82-year-old grandfather to a nursing home in Wellington, Texas in the spring, but needed to search the name of the ‘establishment.
The next day, police spoke to the deceased’s grandson, Arron Harden, who said he had not seen his grandfather, that Webb did not want to say where he was and that she had obtained an order. of non-communication keeping him away from home.
When investigators pressed Webb on AJ’s whereabouts, she said he was at the “Shady Oaks” retirement home in Fort Worth – which does not exist, according to court documents.
Webb ghosted the cops, who turned their attention to her boyfriend, Garrett Beene. He revealed that Webb told him Harden had died in her sleep and called the fire department to take his body away, but police said no emergency calls were ever made.
A day later, Beene contacted the police through her lawyer with a different story: Webb allegedly told her that her grandfather asked her to kill him so she gave him a fatal dose of Xanax and Ambien.
Beene said he didn’t believe her and accused her of doing it so she could have her lake house. Perkins, the ex-boyfriend, had told police that Harden regularly gave Webb money.
According to an obituary, Harden grew up in Fort Sumner, served in the Navy, married, and became a truck driver. In his later years, he and his wife ran a hamburger stand.
“An incredible man with a beautiful heart,” friend Denise Beck wrote on her condolence page.
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