From a body to a homeless shelter, trail leads cops to victim’s son ‘covered in blood’

Jared Kessler, 19, is accused of killing his mother in West Virginia.
Jared Kessler, 19, is accused of killing his mother in West Virginia.

A teen found “covered in blood” at a homeless shelter has admitted to killing his mother last week in a grisly stabbing frenzy, police in Parkersburg, West Virginia, say.

The victim, 50-year-old Carol Ann Kessler, was found in her home with “several” stab wounds to her chest, abdomen, neck and face, police said in a Facebook post.

Investigators said an acquaintance of Kessler’s found her body at 6:47 a.m., the morning after Thanksgiving. Her car was missing, according to a police press release.

Her son, 19-year-old Jared Kessler, was located later that day at the town’s Latrobe Street Mission, after an employee grew suspicious of his appearance and called 911, said a police post.

“Officers observed Jared to be covered in blood,” the police statement said, noting the victim’s vehicle was also found at the shelter.

The teen was taken to Parkersburg Police Headquarters, where police say he told officers he had gotten into an argument with his mother “that turned violent.” Investigators say it’s believed the teen was living with his mother at the time of the argument.

“Kessler stated that he stabbed his mother several times about the chest and abdomen,” said a police Facebook post. “Kessler further added that he then cut the victim’s neck and face multiple times.”

The teen has been charged with murder, said a police statement.

Carol Kessler, a native of Pennsylvania, was well-known at the Latrobe Street Mission, according to her Facebook page. A post in September said she was working as a case manager at the mission, and was trying to set up a program that would find jobs for felons out on parole.

A Nov. 23 post on the mission’s Facebook page referred to Kessler “as a loving helper.”

“Please pray for the homeless, friends and her family,” said the post. “She will be greatly missed by all.”

The Kessler family had moved to Parkersburg from St. Mary’s, West Virginia, in recent months, a police statement said.

Parkersburg, with a population of about 30,000, is about two hours north of the state capital of Charleston.

Mark Price: 704-358-5149, @markprice_obs