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Ari Liggett - the son accused of killing his mom - is 'mentally ill' according to his father

11:45 PM, Oct 18, 2012   |    comments
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Ari Liggett is being held without bond in the Arapahoe County Jail, facing charges of first-degree murder.

"We're failing our society in terms of mental health treatment, prevention and resources," Ronald Liggett told 9NEWS.

Ronald told 9NEWS Crime and Justice Reporter Anastasiya Bolton Ari has a lifelong history of mental illness.

"This is a mental-health issue," Liggett said. "Like you're seeing every day in the papers, it won't be positively addresses until the society takes it as seriously as the war on drugs or terrorism."

9NEWS learned Liggett and the victim's boyfriend became suspicious that something wasn't quite right when Beverly Liggett didn't answer their calls.

Police assisted the men in entering the Centennial home Monday, when the three found some suspicious things the victims would've never done - like leaving the home without her medication. Her car was missing as well.

When a team of investigators responded to the home, they found traces of blood in the freezer and bath tub, cutting tools in the dishwasher, among other suspicious items that led them to believe they were on a scene of a homicide.

9NEWS learned Ari was on his way home with his mother's remains in the back of her car, when police tried to stop him. He tried to evade them but crashed the car and then ran. An officer then arrested him.

Ari told police he recently learned his mother did not include him in her will. He found her dead in the living room and believed she committed suicide. He panicked and put her in the freezer.

The report further described Ari telling the police what he did, driving to various locations, getting out of town and then running out of money.

The body was positively identified Thursday as belonging to the missing mother.

Victim feared for her life

According to court documents, Beverly Liggett expressed fear for her life in January 2010. She found a modified rifle in her son's possession.

While interviewing Beverly that day, officers learned she didn't think he was "getting released for a long time." The report does not state where Ari was being released from.

The report states Beverly told the police Ari made comments to her in that past that "he would get rid of the family, meaning her and Ari's younger sister."

"The family is Jewish, and so is Ari," the report said. "Ari had some books on racism that she had found in a bag with other school books. Ari appeared to be slightly obsessed with killing, racism and Hitler. When Ari gets his mind wrapped around an idea, he becomes obsessed with the following through of the idea."

The 2010 report also said Beverly told police, "she and her daughter are living in fear that Ari will come to the house and kill them."

According to the same report, deputies found two containers of crystallized Potassium Ferrocyanide and a gas mask in Ari's possession.

Arapahoe County Sheriff Grayson Robinson says his deputies did everything they could to help her.

"When we look back at the history at this house people did take heed. Ari was arrested for possession of an illegal firearm and he was on probation," Sheriff Grayson said. "I think the efforts that could be made were made relative to this individual."

Suspect attended CU-Boulder 

Ari attended two regular semesters at CU-Boulder from the fall of 2008 to the spring of 2009.

CU police told 9NEWS they had no criminal contact with the suspect during his time at the university.

They could not say if Ari had any psychiatric issues while on campus. 

Boulder incident

Ari also has an interesting history that, like this case, involved a form of cyanide.

He was arrested in Boulder on March 26, 2010 on a warrant out of Arapahoe County for possession of a homemade silencer for a firearm. He was booked on misdemeanor reckless endangerment and felony possession of a dangerous weapon charges. 

He pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor getting one year probation and got a deferred sentence on the felony in December 2011. The original judge in his case was Ethan Feldman and his judge at sentencing was Judge Wheeler, who signed the warrant for him today and will be the judge at his advisement tomorrow.

His arrest in 2010 led to a bomb scare at the Boulder Homeless Shelter. At the time police thought he had potassium ferrocyanide and sent samples to the FBI.

The chemical believed to have been found in the family home in Centennial this time is potassium cyanide - the very lethal form of the compound. It's the substance commonly used in suicide pills.

Investigators say his mother's dismembered remains were found in the backseat of the car driven by Ari. 

9NEWS reached out to the victim's boyfriend and other family members, but hasn't heard back.

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