Noah Crooks, 13, stands accused of murdering his mother, Gretchen, and authorities have filed additional charges of sexual abuse. Officials state that it is "totally unheard of" for a child to sexually abuse his or her parent, but that is the case in the Crook murder.
"Allegations include first-degree murder… and the allegation of assault with intent to commit sexual abuse," according to the Globe Gazette. As of press time, no statement has been given as to why the new charge of sexual abuse was added. Crooks could be charged and sentenced as an adult for his crimes, which could lead to a lifetime imprisonment.
Noah used a rifle to kill his mother, Gretchen, in their home on Saturday. Police responded to a 911 call made by Noah and calmly took him into custody. He currently waits arraignment at the North Iowa Juvenile Detention Center.
Officials are trying to make sense of the tragedy and note that cases of sexual abuse committed by children are rare.
"The victims in most sex offenses committed by juveniles are siblings, other juveniles, or, more rare, other adults," explained Sheila Aukes, a licensed social worker. "A child or adolescent sexually abusing a parent is completely out of the norm, totally unheard of," she told the Des Moines Register.
"We're at a loss," Sheriff Curt Younker told the Register. "These are good people, very responsible. It is the most heartbreaking thing I've ever seen."
The entire community has been left in shock at the murder. Friends and colleagues called Gretchen a "great nurse and leader." She worked at the local Mercy Medical Center while studying for her master's degree in nursing.
"Our hearts and prayers go out to her family and friends," the center said in a statement.
"We have lost our daughter. We have lost our grandson," Beverly Brahm, Gretchen's mother, told the press during a conference.
No date has been set for Noah's arraignment.