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Arizona woman admits to suffocating 79-year-old mother to death with pillow

Posted at 8:28 AM, May 14, 2019

SCOTTSDALE, Arizona — An Arizona woman is facing first degree murder charges after she admitted to murdering her mother Monday afternoon.

According to Sgt. Ben Hoster, dispatchers received a call around 2 p.m. from someone at an apartment complex near 64th Street and Osborn Road saying their neighbor asked them to call 911.

Scottsdale police say Holly Brennan, 46, later told the dispatcher that she had killed her mother, Sharon Simmons. Officers responded and found Simmons deceased in a bed.

Brennan told police she suffocated her mother. Investigators did not immediately know when Simmons had died.

Mike Bennett said he saw Brennan confess to police outside her apartment. "She admitted that she smothered her mother with a pillow," said Bennett.

"Responding officers then went inside the apartment and located an elderly female deceased on the bed," said Sgt. Hoster.

"Then they put the cuffs on her and sat her down on the sidewalk," said Bennett. "I couldn't believe what I was hearing. It took a couple seconds for it to sink in, and I'm like, 'Wow she just admitted that!'"

Police say Brennan and Simmons live together and have a history of domestic violence.

Neighbors told KNXV television station that Simmons was beloved in the complex. "She was a very nice lady. Everybody in the apartment complex just loved her," said Ross Blaisdell.

"She was a sweet lady. The daughter was a little sketchy," said Bennett.

Brennan was taken into custody and questioned by detectives, Hoster said.

If you or someone you know is the victim of domestic or sexual violence, there are several local and national organizations offering resources. Anyone in need of immediate assistance should contact the National 24-Hour Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673). A number of organizations are available 24 hours a day for anyone at risk of experiencing domestic or sexual violence. See a directory of domestic violence programs here.