Son charged with murder in mom's death

Charges were upgraded to second-degree murder Tuesday against a Brooklyn man who had already been accused of stealing from his missing mother. She later turned up dead.



Joan Viau, 52, was missing for a week before a passerby found her dead on Chittenden Avenue in Manhattan's Washington Heights. She had her throat cut, according to the city's medical examiner.



Police arrested her 32-year-old son, Joseph Garcia, Friday on charges of grand larceny for the allegedly unauthorized use of her credit cards and car.



Garcia was the last person seen with Viau last Monday -- when they left her Carlisle Place apartment in Olinville for the veterans hospital in Kingsbridge. Viau's boyfriend reported her missing.



Officials say they found blood in Viau's bathtub and in her vehicle.



Garcia is due back in court on Monday.


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