Shelby County homicide investigators charged Alexandre Kim, 22, with first degree murder in connection with his mother's death after her body was found inside a burning Cordova home Sunday evening.
A county medical examiner ruled the death a homicide. An autopsy revealed the female victim, later identified in an affidavit as Estelle Kim, died from blunt force trauma and strangulation, the county medical examiner's office said.
Firefighters discovered Ms. Kim after they extinguished the house fire in the 9000 block of Higdon Cove Sunday evening.
According to court documents, the son's motivation in allegedly killing his mother was based on anger. He allegedly strangled her.
A neighbor told FOX13 News the son and mother had a heated argument late Sunday afternoon. A short time later, the house was ablaze.
"You would never expect for things to happen like that in a neighborhood like this," said Darius Jones, neighbor. "They were yelling to where people could hear it. I came outside he was walking down the street, went back in there, smelled something burning, came outside back of house on fire."
Alexandre Kim told officers he left his mother inside the house before heading to a Subway fast food restaurant to grab some food, court documents show. Police, though, became suspicious after they noticed blood on his clothing.
Witnesses told police the murder suspect had changed clothes after he left the home. About 10 minutes after he left, the home was on fire.
While Jones said Ms. Kim lived alone with her son, she was in the process of moving out of the home.
"He used to have a whole lot of confrontations, arguments, with his mom," Jones recalled. "Say he used to hit his mother and his mom was real scared of him. She moved out, came back for some stuff. Guess that's when it happened."
Alexandre Kim is expected to be arraigned Wednesday morning.
FOX13 News reporter Bofta Yimam contributed to this report.