A Pennsylvania woman was accused of shooting her parents in their heads and dismembering their bodies with a chain saw, authorities said Wednesday.
Verity Beck, 49, was charged with two counts of first-degree murder, two counts of third-degree murder and other crimes in the killings of Reid Beck, 73, and Miriam Beck, 72, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele told reporters.
Beck appeared in court Wednesday for a preliminary arraignment and was ordered held without bail, criminal court records show.
Authorities have not identified a possible motive, although investigators found a safe that someone appeared to have tried to break into, Steele said.
Police officers were sent Tuesday to the home in Abington, 12 miles north of Philadelphia, for a wellness check after another family member said the couple hadn’t been heard from in more than a week, Steele and Abington Township Police Chief Patrick Molloy said in a joint statement.
Inside, officers found Verity Beck, who also lived there, and the victims’ bodies, according to the statement.
They found body parts in trash bags that had been placed in two trash cans, Steele said. One of the victims was tightly wrapped in a white bedsheet and blanket, he said.
“There were signs of extreme trauma present,” he said.
An autopsy found the Becks were each shot once in the head, Steele said, adding that a pillow may have been used during the gunfire. He said the shots appeared to have been fired before the couple were dismembered.
“We hope and pray that happened first,” he said.
Authorities found at least three guns inside the home that belonged to Verity Beck, NBC Philadelphia reported, citing a criminal complaint.
It wasn’t clear when the Becks were killed. Steele said a family member last spoke to them on Jan. 7.
It wasn’t clear whether Beck has a lawyer to speak on her behalf. Court records didn’t list one.