A California man allegedly killed his mother by pushing her out the window and stomping on her following an argument, PEOPLE confirms.
Police say they were called to the 7400 block of Hazeltine Avenue in Van Nuys, California, early Monday morning after neighbors heard a loud argument, allegedly between Carlota Vargas, 70, and her 40-year-old son, Fernando Vargas.
When officers arrived they found Carlota lying on the ground in front of their apartment complex suffering from injuries to her face. Fernando was also at scene and appeared to be suffering a leg injury, according to a press release from the Los Angeles Police Department.
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Carlota was taken to Providence Holy Cross Medical Center, where she died from her injuries, according to the release.
Police allege Fernando pushed his mother from their second floor apartment window and then jumped out of the same window and began to kick and stomp on her.
“All we know is it was a dispute,” LAPD officer Norma Eisenman tells PEOPLE. Eisenman says authorities are still trying to figure out the motive and detectives plan “to do a toxicology test to see if he was on drugs,” she says.
“It was horrible,” witness Nancy Ochoa told WGNTV. “He said that she was going to die anyway and it didn’t matter [if he stomped on her].”
Neighbor Says Mother was ‘Lovely Person’
Friends have described Carlota, who was originally from Chile, as an outgoing and friendly woman.
“She always smiled, wore makeup and looked good and everything was a party,” Sheila Tucker, a former neighbor, tells PEOPLE. “Life to her was a party. She was a very lovely person and had quite a few friends. You could imagine when she was younger she could stop traffic.”
Tucker tells PEOPLE Carlota “really loved her son.”
“He was very catered to by his mother,” she says. “He was spoiled. I never really heard any fights. But there was something going on. An issue.”
Tucker says Carlota had worked as a door-to-door salesperson and had been living with her son in the two-bedroom condo for more than a decade. Fernando, she says, worked out at the local gym and at one point had aspirations to become an actor.
Tucker, who has appeared in commercials and whose husband was an actor, says Fernando approached her asking about how to get work as an actor.
“I said, ‘First of all you have to have a little talent.’ He just thought that because he was kind of good looking that he could make a good living. He said he quit his job, but I wonder if that is true.”
Fernando Vargas was arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently in custody. It was not immediately known whether he had retained an attorney or entered a plea.