CARLSBAD, N.M. (KRQE) - Investigators have issued an arrest warrant for the son of an 88-year-old Carlsbad man found dismembered and buried in his backyard in December.
Investigators charged Steven Allumbaugh, 62, with the murder of his father Thomas. Investigators say Steven admitted to hitting his father during an argument nearly a year earlier causing him to fall, hit his head and die.
Police said Allumbaugh then admitted to cutting up his father's body using an electric chainsaw and burying him in the family's backyard.
Police began investigating the case in December when they got a call from an out-of-state grandson concerned because he had been unable to reach Thomas for many months.
Investigators say they were waiting to file charges until they received an autopsy report from Office of the Medical Investigator determining a cause of death. That report was released Thursday and identifies the cause of death of homicidal violence.
It also confirms Allumbaugh's body was cut into at least 14 different pieces and contained in 11 different garbage bags.
Police said Thomas Allumbaugh lived in the home with his wife and son. Steven is also charged with the abuse of his mother.
"There has been allegations of domestic violence and not allowing her to leave and being really controlling over her," said Lt. Bryan Burns, a detective with the Carlsbad Police Department.
Burns said Steven was able to keep his dad's murder a secret for nearly a year because the family kept to themselves and didn't often have visitors.
Investigators alleged Allumbaugh cashed his father's Social Security checks in the year following his death taking more than $19,000. He is now facing federal charges of Social Security fraud for that.
Investigators said they don't know just how much Thomas Allumbaugh's wife knew about her husband's death but did know he had died after being told by Steven. Police say she is also very elderly and her mental state may be diminished.
Police believe Steven was able to keep the death a secret for so long because the family kept to themselves.
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