The 12-year-old Oregon boy who was allegedly murdered by his mother was strangled to death, PEOPLE confirms.
Caden Berry was found dead Saturday afternoon in the Keizer, Oregon, apartment he shared with his mother, police tell PEOPLE. A neighbor found Caden’s body.
Shortly after the discovery, Amy Robertson, 38, was charged with aggravated murder in the death of her son, according to a Keizer police statement.
On Monday, police announced Caden died from asphyxia due to strangulation. It is unclear how or when Robertson allegedly strangled her son. Police believe he died sometime between Friday afternoon, when he was last seen alive, and Saturday afternoon, when his body was found.
A neighbor became concerned for Caden’s safety while speaking to his mother on Saturday, according to Keizer’s deputy police chief, Jeff Kuhns. Robertson was sitting on her apartment complex’s front porch when she began talking with the neighbor, Brenda King.
“I realized I didn’t see [Caden], so I said, ‘Where’s your son?’ ” King told KGW.
“She said, ‘In the house, under the blanket,’ ” King alleged.
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When she went inside the apartment, King said she saw Caden unresponsive. “I can’t even sleep, because he was so young and so little,” she said of the scene.
Robertson was allegedly swinging her arms wildly and said something about demons when she exited her apartment Saturday, according to KOIN. (Kuhns could not confirm or deny those claims about her behavior.)
‘Flying High with the Angels’
On Sunday night, a candlelight vigil was held in Caden’s honor.
“He put a smile on your face, and I can’t believe this is happening,” one of his friends, Kaitlin Yusko, told KGW. “It’s just terrible.”
“I hope he’s flying high with the angels, and I hope he’s really happy,” Yusko said.
Caden was a seventh-grade student at Claggett Creek Middle School, according to police.
Robertson is schedule to appear in court Tuesday afternoon for an arraignment, where she will enter a plea. Because she is charged with aggravated murder, she is not eligible for bail, Kuhns tells PEOPLE.
She is being held at Marion County Correctional Facility and will have an attorney appointed to her during her arraignment.
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Robertson is cooperating with investigators, Kuhns says. He could not comment on a motive.
“Working on a case like this is tough,” he says. “Some of the investigators on this case have children of their own, and when you see someone this young have their life taken from them by their own mother, it’s difficult.”