Michelle Kim

Son Faces Murder Charge in Death of Bronx Mom

Joseph Garcia, 31, is currently charged with criminal possession of stolen property, criminal trespassing and other crimes

The son of a 52-year-old Bronx woman whose body was found near a wooded area in upper Manhattan over the weekend days after she went missing en route to a Veterans Affairs hospital is now facing murder charges in the death of his mother. 

Joseph Garcia was arrested during a court hearing on Tuesday after he was originally charged with unauthorized use of a vehicle and criminal possession of stolen property.

Garcia was arrested hours before investigators found his mother Joan Viau's body after surveillance tape surfaced showing him with his mother's SUV and credit card. According to investigators, Garcia was the last person seen with Viau. 

Police say the 31-year-old Garcia was shown on surveillance video with his mother's SUV and credit card. According to investigators, Garcia was the last person seen with Viau.

During his court appearance Tuesday, Garcia told the Daily News he didn't know what happened to his mother.

Viau was reported missing Jan. 23.

The medical examiner ruled Monday that Viau died of sharp force trauma of the neck -- meaning a pointed object came into contact with her skin and underlying tissues. Viau's death has been classified as a homicide. 

An attorney for Garcia, a former parolee who served time for criminal impersonation several years ago, hasn't commented on Viau's death.

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