Prime suspect in murder of Fresno mom arrested in SoCal after high-speed chase

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Friends and neighbors say Felipa Saveedra always prayed for her son and hoped things would get better for him. (KFSN)

A suspect accused of killing his mother has a long history of drug use and mental health problems. Los Angeles Police Department officers tracked down Jose Saveedra Sunday.

Their traffic stop led to a high-speed chase, and the pursuit ended when Saveedra crashed the Toyota Camry that belonged to his murdered mother.

Friends and neighbors say Felipa Saveedra always prayed for her son and hoped things would get better for him. No one knows exactly what prompted her death in Fresno Saturday but her son is the prime suspect.

Neighbors said Felipa Saveedra worked hard, according to neighbors and friends. She spent her free time cooking, going to church and enjoying her family. On Saturday, her daughter returned to their home to find her mother dead.

Her mom's car was gone and her brother was missing.

"The vehicle traveled from Fresno to Southern California," Sgt. Andre Benson with the Fresno Department said. "Upon reaching Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department got behind the vehicle. The officers attempted to pull the vehicle over. The person of interest led them on a high-speed chase."

The pursuit ended in a crash and arrest. Jose's capture left neighbors 200 miles away in his southwest Fresno neighborhood sleeping a lot better. Just last month, he was taken in on a psychiatric hold after bizarre behavior prompted family members to call authorities.

"He was dealing with a lot of problems, mentally and with the law alone" neighbor Hope Hall said. "He was very isolated, very strange person, we even nicknamed him 'paranoid.'"

Neighbors who know the family well say Jose had a long history of drug abuse. Lately, things got even worse. But on Saturday, everything seemed normal, at least from the outside.

"Nobody heard nothing, other than the young man coming out that afternoon," Hall said. "I don't know if the murder happened before or after that."

Detectives won't say how Felipa died, only that it was a violent assault. Those who love her remember her as always optimistic and hopeful. No matter how bad things got with her son, she always prayed for healing and that he would get his life together.

Homicide detectives have traveled to LA to interview Jose but did not say what he said. Officers say he's now facing charges in Southern California of evading police and being in possession of a stolen car.

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homicide investigationfresno police departmentfresnoFresno - Southwest
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