A 59-year-old woman from Texas, Suzette Annette Kefauver, is currently in custody, charged with the murder of her 80-year-old mother, Vivian Norwood Kefauver. The Harris County Sheriff’s Office alleges that the murder weapon was a gait belt, a device typically used to aid individuals with mobility issues.
On November 17, law enforcement was called to the Kefauver residence in Houston. Upon arrival, they found a neighbor performing CPR on the elderly woman. Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel took over the resuscitation efforts, during which they noticed bruising and redness on the victim’s neck. Vivian Kefauver was then transported to a hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
According to the criminal complaint, Suzette Kefauver told a deputy that she had left her mother in the living room for about five to ten minutes. Upon her return, she found her mother on the floor, leaning against the sofa. She claimed to be unsure if her mother was still breathing at that point.
The complaint further states that Suzette Kefauver made an unsolicited comment, asserting that there had been no argument between her and her mother, and that the bruises on her mother’s neck were not a result of abuse.
Suzette Kefauver, who had been her mother’s primary caregiver for approximately a year, allegedly detailed the incident leading to her mother’s death. She claimed that she had tried to lift her mother back onto the sofa by her neck several times, eventually resorting to using the gait belt. After several unsuccessful attempts, she realized her mother might not be breathing.
She then sought help from a neighbor. Despite their combined efforts, they were unable to lift the elderly woman. The neighbor corroborated parts of Suzette Kefauver’s account, adding that she had to convince Suzette to call 911. When instructed to perform CPR, Suzette reportedly refused, leading the neighbor to take over until EMS arrived.
The neighbor also reported an unprompted statement from Suzette Kefauver, in which she insisted that she had not harmed her mother and that the marks on her neck were not due to abuse.
During a subsequent police interview, Suzette Kefauver denied using the gait belt to lift her mother by the neck. However, the state alleges that a white ligature mark on the victim’s neck, believed to have been caused by a gait belt, contradicts this claim.
Suzette Kefauver is currently held on a $1 million bond and is scheduled for her next court appearance on Monday.