Mentone, a popular vacation destination on top of Alabama's Lookout Mountain, is more closely associated with the words "retreat," "paradise," and "idyllic" than with "murder." But as AL.com puts it, "that paradise was shattered Friday" when police received a 911 call to a local home and found 45-year-old Sherry Ann Blansit bludgeoned to death in her backyard—and her son, 22-year-old Tyler Blansit, who placed the 911 call, eventually confessed to the crime, CNN reports. What provoked the attack: mother and son fighting over his grades at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Tyler reportedly told police; his dad was said to have been at work at the time of the killing. Tyler Blansit has since been charged with murder and is being held in the DeKalb County Detention Center.
When police first showed up at the Blansit home on Friday, they found a crime scene that Mentone Police Chief Brad Gregg described as "brutal," AL.com reports. Tyler initially told cops that he and his mom had been attacked, offering up his own scratches and bump on the head as evidence, the Times-Journal reports. But Tyler admitted later on to hitting his mother, DeKalb County Sheriff Jimmy Harris tells AL.com; Sherry Blansit appeared to have died from blunt force trauma to the head, and a baseball bat cops believe was the murder weapon is being tested, the sheriff adds. Harris tells WAFF that investigators are still looking for clues as to why Tyler, the Blansits' only child, may have snapped. "Usually we'll have calls where a parent has whipped a child because of grades, a child has run away because of bad grades, but we've never had anything like this happen," Harris says.