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Man, 22, Killed, Disemboweled Mother: Police

Robert Owen Rankin, 22, allegedly told police he was looking for a baby in his mother's stomach.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Robert Owen Rankin, 22, is accused of killing his mother, Margaret Rohner, inside her Deep River home on Thursday.

    The man accused of killing his mother in Deep River, Conn., on Thursday, disemboweled her, according to a police report.

    Troopers responded to a home at 131 Rattling Valley Road around 1 p.m. Thursday after receiving a 911 call from the victim's ex-husband.

    Robert Owen Rankin, the victim's 22-year-old son, was arrested and charged with murder. Rankin and his father were outside the house when police arrived.

    On Friday, state police identified the victim as 45-year-old Margaret Rohner.

    According to court documents, Rankin admitted the crime to his father and then to the first state police trooper who arrived on the scene.

    "I used the knife to kill my mother," Rankin told the trooper after the trooper asked if he had any weapons on him. "I killed my mother because she is pretty much responsible for everything that has gone wrong in my life," he allegedly told the trooper.

    Rankin continued to tell the trooper in detail what he had allegedly done to his mother.

    He said he woke up in the morning with a plan to snap his mother's neck to kill her, but when that didn't work, he stabbed her in the neck with a fire poker, according to the police report.

    When Rankin saw she was still alive, he told police he took his clothes off to "gain additional strength," in his words. 

    He then used a buck knife to stab his mother in the belly button, the court documents show. Rankin said he was looking for a baby but couldn't find one in her stomach, he allegedly told police.

    He told investigators he cleaned up, took a shower and decided to take his dog for a walk. It was then that he saw his father and allegedly admitted to the crime.

    "I just want you to know that she put up a damn good fight. She is a strong woman. I give her credit for that," he told his father, according to court documents.

    Police who went inside the home found Rohner's body with several wounds to the abdomen. 

    Rankin appeared in Middletown Superior court on Friday morning. His attorney, Dennis McMahon, said Rankin appears to have a long history of severe psychiatric issues.  

    Rankin was held on $1 million bond and put on a suicide watch.