By Chris Harris
April 12, 2019 01:24 PM
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Sandra Aven (Credit: Prescott Police Department
Credit: Prescott Police Department

Two women — a mother and daughter — are facing murder charges in Arizona, where investigators allege they murdered the matriarch of their family and kept collecting and depositing her monthly benefits checks.

According to Prescott police, Briar Aven, 24, and Tara Aven, 46, were arrested on Tuesday, after allegedly confessing to the 2017 killing of Sandra Aven, 77, who is Tara’s mother and Briar’s grandmother and lives next door to them. AZ Central reports that the body of an “obviously deceased person” was found at Sandra Aven’s home on Tuesday.

Briar and Tara now face single first-degree felony murder counts.

Both are further charged with fraud schemes and tampering with evidence.

Additionally, Tara faces an additional charge of facilitation of first-degree murder.

It was unclear Friday if either defendant had entered pleas to the charges they face. PEOPLE was unable to ascertain if either the mother or daughter had hired attorneys who could comment on their behalf, as they remain in prison without bond.

tara-aven
Credit: Prescott Police Dept.

Police in Prescott allegedly started investigating the two women after an unspecified person called 911, concerned after not seeing Sandra Aven around town for quite some time.

According to police, Briar told officers who first contacted the Aven home that her grandmother “was out of town and unavailable.”

When Tara was questioned, investigators allege she provided inconsistent details, raising the suspicions of detectives.

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A search of their home turned up the body, which clearly had been dead for some time.

According to police, the defendants allegedly admitted to murdering Sandra and covering it up so they could continue to collect her monthly benefits checks.