Man accused of choking mother to death at Florida homeless camp

Posted by MARC R. MASFERRER on April 7, 2014 

Benjamin Dick, 23, has been charged with second-degree murder in connection with the choking and stabbing death of his mother at a Crystal River homeless camp.

From Bay News 9

CRYSTAL RIVER -- A 23-year-old man has been arrested and charged with second-degree murder in the choking death of his mother near a Crystal River homeless camp.

Benjamin Dick was wanted in connection with another domestic incident involving the stabbing of his brother when deputies went to the camp, located behind Farmers Furniture near U.S. 19/98, around 3 p.m. Saturday.

Deputies said that while they were at the camp, they were told Dick had killed his mother and buried her in a shallow grave.

According to the arrest report, witnesses told deputies that on Friday night, Dick and another homeless man, 28-year-old Shannon Parker, were drinking with Dick's mother, 42-year-old Jennifer Brooks. Dick and his girlfriend got into an argument, and Dick began choking his girlfriend.

Detectives said that after Dick stopped choking his girlfriend, Brooks made derogatory comments toward the girlfriend. Dick then started to attack Brooks, and the struggle led to an area behind a tent and into a ravine.

According to the arrest report, detectives determined that Dick strangled and stabbed Brooks several times, leading to her death. Dick's girlfriend, who has not been identified, suffered non-life-threatening injuries.

After extensive digging, detectives found Brooks' body in a grave near the camp, detectives said.

Dick was arrested on several charges, including second-degree murder. Parker was arrested for his role in disposing of the body and charged with accessory after the fact and witness tampering.

Detectives were still processing the scene and conducting interviews Sunday afternoon.

Commander Buddy Grant said he doesn't know what would drive a son to kill his mother.

“Our job now is to put a good case together for the State Attorney’s Office and to make sure we bring justice to this victim," he said.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to call 911. Anonymous tips can be called into 1-888-269-8477.

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