Police identify woman found dead in Athens apartment, son charged with murder

ATHENS, Ala. - Authorities said a suspect is in custody and charged with murder after a woman was found dead at an apartment complex in Athens Wednesday afternoon.

Athens Police said they, along with EMS and the Limestone County coroner, were called to the scene at Roberts Apartment complex on Malone Street around 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon. Chief Floyd Johnson said a relative found a woman's body in her home.

"I don't think at the time, they suspected anything," Johnson said. "I think they were just checking, just coming by."

Chief Johnson said it appeared the victim was physically assaulted. He did not go into detail about the crime, but he added that investigators found weapons inside the home.

The Athens Police Department later identified the victim as Emma Sutton, 79.

Sutton, Sean
Photo: Athens Police Department

They said her son, Sean Kevin Sutton (47), was found several blocks away from his mother's apartment 25 minutes after they were called to the scene to investigate.

Sean Sutton is charged with one count of murder and is being held at the Limestone County Jail on a $250,000 bond.

Management at the apartment complex said the 79-year-old woman lived in the apartment. She had not lived in the area long, Johnson said. She is believed to have had a previous address in Tanner, but originally from out-of-state.

"From the people I talked with, she's very friendly and people liked her," he stated.

Johnson said police are also waiting on autopsy results.

"We have no indication there would be a second suspect. I can tell you right now, we are where we need to be," Johnson said. "This is not going to be a really short process. This is going to take us some time. We are going to be here for a while."

He understands this is a sad time for the city.

"I think that's the sad part-- they have to live in their homes and be worried about this, because it did happen in their neighborhood," he said. "Another part is, holidays are for family. Holidays are a time of relaxing and enjoying. This family is in pain. The neighborhood is in pain, she had a lot of friends I believe here in the area."

Chief Johnson wanted to assure residents in the area that the city is safe.

"We patrol the area quite often. If they see anything suspicious, we want them to call us so we can check that out," he said.

Any persons with information regarding Emma or Sean Sutton are asked to contact Athens PD at 256-233-8700.

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