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Elderly coupled murdered by grandson and his girlfriend police say

A grandson has confessed to police about killing his grandfather and grandmother, according to a police affidavit.
A grandson has confessed to police about killing his grandfather and grandmother, according to a police affidavit.
courtesy of ABC 7News Denver

An elderly couple whose bodies were found in two different locations was killed by their grandson and his girlfriend based upon a recent report from People magazine on June 4, 2014.

An autopsy was inconclusive on the grandfather, initially, with no signs of trauma and a pending toxicology report, but police suspected the young male relative from the start. The remains of the older female victim Shirley were found in two different locations, in two different states, and the case began to be pieced together as a result.

This particular elderly couple's case--Charles and Shirley Severance--sounds similar to another elderly couple killing in Putnam County Georgia this year, where Russell and Shirley Dermond were both found in dead in two different locations in May. In that case, like this one, there appeared to be no signs of a struggle on the 88-year-old male victim, but he had been beheaded and left in his Great Waters gated community home garage.

Russell Dermond's wife Shirley Dermond was found in Lake Oconee, five miles from the couple's home almost two weeks after his body was found by neighbors, and blunt force trauma was ruled as her cause of death. However toxicology screen results have not been released for either Georgia victim yet, and no weapon has been found.

In Shirley Severance's case, her remains were placed near water too, at the Prewitt Reservoir, which is 18 miles from her home, and other remains of hers were also found at a Lorenzo, Nebraska location, according to 7News Denver.

Sheriff Howard Sills of the Putnam County Sheriff's Office in the Georgia lake slayings case made an appeal on June 3 for more public contributions to a reward fund being established to find the killers of the Reynolds Plantation golf community victims, according to The Telegraph in Macon. But the Sterling Police Department feel they already have their double homicide killers in custody, arresting the grandson Brendan Lee Johnson, 19, and his girlfriend Cassandra Ann Rieb, 18, for the brutal crimes against Charles and Shirley Severance of Sterling, Colorado.

In a surprising twist, the teen couple have shared with police why (and how) they attacked the grandparents of Brendan Johnson, first thinking they would smother them to death with pillows as they slept.

We agreed to do it together; one get one and the other get the other one," Cassandra Reib said.

But Charles Severance fought back, according to the 18-year-old girl, and she thinks he died as a result of a heart attack during the commission of the crime. Shirley Severance suffered a more horrendous attack, despite asking her grandson why they were doing this and offering them money not to kill her.

The 70-year-old grandmother was killed by multiple stab wounds and strangulation, according to a police affidavit, and the teen couple burned and buried her body remains in two different locations, to hide their brutal crime. According to the grandson's girlfriend partner in crime, Brendan Johnson wanted to inherit his grandparents' home and the $20,000 they had in their bank account.

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