Robert Raff
Lorain County Sheriff's Office

Robert Raff, 53, was arrested in Ohio with a knife, ax and Taser and "dressed to the nines" in combat gear, police say

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February 05, 2019 03:20 PM

A man suspected in the deaths of his parents allegedly admitted he killed them to arresting officers who recorded his statements on a body camera.

“Officer, I have things to confess to you,” the suspect, 53-year-old Robert Raff, said as he was handcuffed during his arrest Saturday in Avon, Oho, reports Fox 8 Cleveland. “I killed my parents,” he says.

In the video, he tells the officers, “I snapped at home,” reports WWBT. “I felt threatened by my father and mother.”

Chesterfield County, Virginia, police confirm to PEOPLE that Raff — also known as Robert James Ralph — faces two counts of first-degree murder in the deaths of his 86-year-old father, Jan, and 79-year-old mother, Victoria Ralph, both retirees whose bodies were discovered earlier that day in the home they shared with their son in Midlothian, Virginia.

Raff was allegedly on the run and moving through Ohio when he was arrested more than seven hours away from the crime scene, Lt. Brad Conner tells PEOPLE.

Conner declined to say how the victims were killed pending a report from the medical examiner. But he said officers had responded several times over the past 12 years to “domestic-related calls between the family members in the house.”

Victoria Ralph
Chesterfield County police

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Police discovered the body of Jan Ralph inside the home about 4:30 p.m. Saturday after receiving a call from a family member who requested a welfare check on the couple. “They hadn’t heard from or seen them in a couple of days,” said Conner.

Authorities initially reported Victoria Ralph as a missing person, but later found her body in the house after obtaining a search warrant for the property.

Police in Ohio took Raff into custody about 9:30 p.m. Saturday after responding to a suspicious activity report of a car traveling with its headlights off, no license plates and riding on a tire rim.

He was found with a knife, ax and a Taser in his possession, according to a police report. The body camera video records one of the arresting officers on the phone to a supervisor saying that Raff was “dressed to the nines in combat gear, head to toe,” reports WWBT.

Raff told officers he’d removed the license plate because he was afraid, according to the outlet. The missing plate was found in the vehicle’s front seat.

“I killed them,” Raff says on the video, reports Fox 8 Cleveland. “I got into a confrontation. If you want, I can tell you what happened.”

Raff currently remains jailed without bond in Lorain County, Ohio, awaiting extradition to Virginia, PEOPLE confirms. He has not entered a plea and it could not be determined if he’d obtained a lawyer to speak on his behalf.

If you suspect domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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