West Valley woman accused of brutally killing 86-year-old mother

Nov 19, 2021, 2:00 PM
Norma Grajeda mug shot booking photo...
Norma Grajeda (Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)
(Maricopa County Sheriff's Office Photo)

PHOENIX – A West Valley woman is facing a homicide charge for allegedly bludgeoning and smothering her 86-year-old mother and stuffing the body in a closet.

Officers responded to a call for service Wednesday morning at an apartment complex near Buckeye and Dysart roads, the Avondale Police Department said in a press release Thursday.

They encountered 56-year-old Norma Grajeda, who had injuries on her hands and arms and blood on her shirt, and entered her apartment after she told them a man was inside and wouldn’t leave, according to court records.

Police didn’t find a man but located the body of Betty Burgett folded inside the closet containing the apartment’s hot water heater, according to the probable cause statement.

Grajeda told police she’d “scuffled” with her mother but didn’t kill her.

Investigators developed a case against Grajeda using video footage from nearby doorbell cameras and other evidence from the scene, including a hammer and blood-stained pillow.

Grajeda was booked into Maricopa County Jail on counts of second-degree homicide, aggravated assault and abuse of a vulnerable adult.

The probable cause statement alleged that Grajeda killed her mother by bludgeoning her, putting a ligature around her neck and smothering her with a pillow.

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West Valley woman accused of brutally killing 86-year-old mother