BAKERSFIELD, CA - 17 News got a look inside a converted garage in southeast Bakersfield where a woman's body was found Tuesday. The murder suspect's mother said her son suffers from mental problems and is innocent.
20-year-old Eddie Rivas was scheduled to be formally charged in court Thursday, but his hearing was postponed because prosecutors say they are waiting on autopsy results. The woman who was found dead inside the garage has not yet been identified.
"I never smelled nothing like that," said Clara Rivas. "It was awful." Clara Rivas described the smell inside her detached garage on Tuesday where her son lives, next to her home.
"When I walked in, I couldn't stand the smell. I had to walk out because I felt like I was going to vomit," said Alex Sanchez, Clara Rivas' boyfriend.
Alex Sanchez showed us inside the garage where he found a rope tucked inside a roll of carpet. "I said what's this rope doing here? So I grabbed it and pulled it and that's when I saw a foot," he explained.
"I tried to unravel it to see who it was, but I couldn't stand it. It took my breath away. I got scared," he continued.
It was a crazy feeling, knowing that I lived there and there's a body in my garage," said Rivas. "I didn't know if it was a girl or guy. It's terrible."
Sheriff's deputies arrested Rivas' son, Eddie Rivas, on suspicion of murder.
"Right now, all my kids and myself, we're very, very hurt. We hurt for that girl that was in the garage. We hurt because my son is over there," explained Rivas.
"Nobody understands that. Nobody understands how we feel," she continued.
Rivas, a single mother of six, said her son was a troubled teen who hung out with the wrong crowd. She said he started stealing and doing drugs and was sent to Juvenile Hall at age 15.
"They had him bipolar when he was Juvenile Hall. From Juvenile Hall, they let him out. He comes home again and goes back to prison," she said.
In 2011, Eddie Rivas was convicted of assaulting a peace officer and received a three-year prison term. He was on parole in that case when he was arrested Tuesday on suspicion of murder.
"I know in my heart he didn't kill her. He's not a killer," said Clara Rivas.
Rivas said she and her boyfriend tried to get her son help Monday for his mental health problems. She said they took him to the hospital, but he wouldn't get out of the car.