The Saratoga County man charged with murder, accused of beating his mother to death and burying her body under a shed, gave a statement to police telling them what he did, authorities said Thursday.
“There is a statement. I won’t characterize it, but it was extremely helpful,” said Saratoga County District Attorney James A. Murphy III. He said the statement from Joshua P. Mcwain, 27, of Lot 20 of the Daniels Corners mobile home park, will provide sufficient proof to bring the case to trial, if need be.
Neighbors grew suspicious and called the Sheriff’s Department when Carol L. Stanford, 59, Mcwain’s mother, hadn’t been seen since Saturday. Officers talked at length to Mcwain, Saratoga County Sheriff James D. Bowen said, and Mcwain provided investigators with the statement Tuesday night indicating what he had done to his mother and where her body was located.
Stanford’s body was found buried under a small blue storage shed on her property. A trap door covered the area inside the shed that had been dug out and the body deposited.
Mcwain told police that he and his mother had an argument and he “lost it,” Bowen said.
Bowen and Murphy toured the crime scene Thursday. Members of the state police forensic identification unit were busy most of the day removing evidence from the mobile home where Mcwain and his mother lived. The police had obtained a search warrant.
Saratoga County Coroner John DeMartino said an autopsy on Stanford’s body conducted Thursday at Albany Medical Center Hospital indicated she died from “blunt force trauma to the head and excessive bleeding.”
DeMartino said the woman was hit repeatedly with a “blunt-type instrument” but would not describe what the instrument was. Her body was taken to Densmore Funeral Home at 7 Sherman Ave. in the town of Corinth.
Bowen said Stanford — who had a different name from Mcwain because she had remarried — had a daughter who lives in Corinth.
Mcwain was taken to Saratoga County Jail without bail after he was arraigned Wednesday before Greenfield Town Justice Deborah Hopkins. He is scheduled to be back in Town Court on Monday for a possible preliminary hearing.
Murphy said Mcwain, who is being represented by public defender Oscar Schreiber, faces a possible sentence of 25 years to life in prison on the second-degree murder charge.
Neighbors of Mcwain and Stanford said that they had lived in the 37-lot mobile home park near the corner of Route 9N and Daniels Road for some years.
One neighbor, who asked that her name not be used, said Mcwain sometimes had trouble controlling his temper and could be heard swearing at his snowblower or lawn mower.
“The kid was never stable at all. He would walk around yelling at himself,” said a man who asked that his name not be printed. “But it seemed like the kid and his mom got along but she did like to bitch at him.”
“He seemed like a pretty nice kid,” said Robert Parkhurst Jr., who lives down the street from the crime scene.
He said he would see Mcwain working in the blue shed near his home, repairing a lawn mower or some other equipment.
“He and his mother walked around the park and said hello to people,” Parkhurst said.
Another neighbor said Mcwain was immature for his age. “He was 27 going on 8,” she said.