A distraught neighbor told 911 dispatchers she saw a Pasco County woman’s grandson drag her from her Paradise Lakes home and into her van, hours before deputies say they discovered her body inside.
The call, which came in around 5:30 a.m., prompted Pasco County deputies to search for 74-year-old Sylvia Rosalie Schmitt, who was slain last Monday in her home.
Hours later, her 18-year-old live-in grandson, Brandon Machetto, was arrested and faces a first-degree murder charge.
Pasco County deputies on Monday released audio from the 911 call, in which an unidentified woman urged deputies to check on Schmitt’s well-being because “she’s an elderly woman” and “I swear he just dragged her out of the house and put her in the van and left.”
The neighbor told 911 that Schmitt and Machetto had previous run-ins, which have prompted visits from deputies.
“The police have picked her grandson up several times,” the woman said. “He’s young and very angry.”
Pasco County Sheriff Chris Nocco said investigators were able to move quickly on the case because the neighbor saw Machetto acting suspiciously before telling deputies she saw Machetto put a body in his grandmother’s van and drive off.
The body was wrapped up, but a foot was sticking out, Nocco said.
Detective Tim Harris said Machetto had an arrest record as a juvenile, having been involved in burglaries and criminal mischief.
In 2012, sheriff’s deputies came to Schmitt’s home on a domestic disturbance call that involved her and her grandson, but the grandmother did not want to press charges, Harris said.
He said Schmitt had taken her grandson in to try to help him when his parents were no longer in the picture.