RUSSELL TOWNSHIP -- Police have Clayton Phillips, 18, in the Geauga County Jail in connection with the death of his grandmother, Ruth Phillips, 81.
Tuesday night, Geauga County Coroner Bob Coleman and Geauga County Prosecutor Jim Flaiz were called to 8419 Cloveridge Drive in the Hemlock Hills development off Music Street in Russell Township.
The teen lived there with his grandmother since May 2013.
Ruth Phillips' body was found in the basement inside the home.
Mid-afternoon Wednesday, Russell Police Chief Timothy Carroll released the following statement:
"On Jan. 21, Ruth P. Phillips, age 81, of 8419 Cloveridge Road, Russell Township, was found stabbed to death in the basement of her residence. On that date, Russell Police Department received a call from a friend of Ms. Phillips requesting a welfare check be done at the residence.
Two Russell police officers responded and entered the residence to perform the welfare check. Upon entering the basement of the residence, officers found Ms. Phillips who appeared to have suffered multiple stab wounds. At that time, Russell P.D. secured the residence, requested assistance from the Bureau of Criminal Investigation's Crime Scene Unit, and secured a warrant to search the residence.
Due to prior involvements with Ms. Phillips' grandson, Clayton Phillips, age 18, officers were aware that Clayton Phillips was the only other resident at the Cloveridge Road address. Clayton Phillips and Ms. Phillips' vehicle were not at the residence when officers arrived.
Russell police initiated a search for Clayton Phillips and the victim's vehicle. Additionally, assistance was requested from the United States Marshals Office.
At approximately 1:45 a.m. Wednesday morning, the United States Marshals, assisted by the Geauga County Sheriffs Office, apprehended Clayton Phillips at a home in Newbury Township.
Mr. Phillips was transported first to the Russell Township Police Department and then to the Geauga County Safety Center. Mr. Phillips is currently being held for a probation violation relating to a case that is pending in the Chardon Municipal Court. The murder investigation remains pending as the Bureau of Criminal Investigation continues to process evidence in the case.
Friends and family are devastated.
"Ruth was as close to a saint is anybody would ever want to meet," says a close friend, who asked not to be identified.
According to police, Ruth's body had been left in the basement, stabbed several times. Police then immediately began their search for Clayton.
They found him at home in Newbury Township, a home that neighbors tell WKYC is a known drug house.
Police arrested Clayton at 1:45 Wednesday morning. He was arraigned a few hours later on charges of violating his probation and is being held without bond.
A family friend tells us he's an addict, and the only person who never gave up on him was his grandmother Ruth. Back in September, Clayton stole her car and Ruth pleaded with the judge for a reduced sentence, believing Clayton was getting his life back together.
"She adored him, absolutely adored him. She would have done anything for him," the family friend tells us.
Now, the woman who spent decades tending to others as a registered nurse, the woman known in her church as "the little nun," leaves behind a heartbroken family and community.
"She was giving, honest, very religious. If anybody ever needed any prayers, they would call Ruth right away," says the family friend. He will be back in court in two weeks, as the investigation continues.
Stay with Channel 3 News and wkyc.com for updates when they become available.