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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. – Police have arrested a man in Colorado who allegedly killed his mother who had been missing for the last four years after they found her body at her home.

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The Grand Junction police on Wednesday said they arrested Richard Vandervelde, 54, for allegedly murdering his mother, Sylvia Frens.

Police say, Frens, 82, was reported missing on May 29, 2018. Vandervelde was living with her at the time of her disappearance, and their investigation found that he was using her debit card between February and June 2018 in Grand Junction, Colorado all the way to Charleston, South Carolina. Police say he also took over $10,000 in cash from her bank account and he had her car. Police got a search warrant and searched her home.

According to court documents that KKCO obtained, detectives described a foul stench in Frens’ bedroom and found a blood stain that covered the floor. The stain was tested for blood but came back negative.

Vandervelde was stopped at a traffic stop in Colombia, Missouri on June 5, 2018, where he was taken into custody for lying about his identity and other traffic violations. The Missouri police contacted the Grand Junction police, who then traveled to Missouri to speak with Vandervelde about Frens’ disappearance. Police say he told them she went on a trip with her friend to California and had no further information to share.

On April 26, 2022, an affidavit obtained by KKCO said the current owner of Frens’ house called police to report a trash bag they found in a manhole, which court records said was about six feet deep. Investigators initially thought it was an animal leg but later confirmed that they were human remains. DNA testing, KKCO said, came back matching Frens. An autopsy report said Frens died from blows to the head.

Police say Vandervelde was located in Florida and arrested on May 19, 2022. He has been booked on recommended charges of first-degree murder, tampering with a deceased body, crimes against an at-risk adult, fraud, theft, motor vehicle theft and abuse of a corpse.