Southern California

“It's Just Horrible”: Church Community Grieving After Grandparents Found Dead

The couple's grandson was named a person of interest in the killings and was still being questioned as of Monday morning, police said.

As a Southern California church community grieved, an investigation continued Monday after a couple described as gentle and kind grandparents were found dead in a Glendale home over the weekend.

"They were a dear older couple from our church, and we've known them for years," said Jim Stone, who attended Calvary Bible Church in Burbank with the couple. "Just to hear the news this morning was grievous to say the least, because they are gentle, kind, kind people, and it's just horrible this could happen."

Police found the couple, a man and woman, dead inside of a home on Alexander Street in Glendale on Sunday morning, Glendale Police Sgt. Robert William said. Officers came to the home after getting a call from a concerned family member who asked for a welfare check, he said.

Stone said he saw the couple in church last week, but not on Sunday.

A Calvary Bible Church representative identified the couple as William and Verna Scheiern. The coroner's office had only identified the body of William Scheiern, 77, as of Monday afternoon, City News Service reported.

The couple's grandson was named a person of interest in the killings, William said. On Monday, police said the man had been hosptalized after being involved in a single-vehicle crash.

"That was apparently a pretty significant accident where he sustained some serious injuries," William said. "The investigators are monitoring him and they won't investigate him until he's medically ready."

Investigators also said more than one person may have been involved in the killings.

Stone described the grandson as "troubled" and said his grandparents helped support him.

"You know, he was, I would say troubled is a way of saying it, but they took him in anyway," Stone said. "Though they had differences to say the least, they still took him in to care for him and help him in any way they could."

A neighbor of the couple said the grandson looked "normal."

"To me, he looks normal, the typical youngster. I've never seen anything that makes him look bad," Juan, a neighbor, said.

"I would never expect to see something like this happen in this neighborhood," he added.

The deaths were being investigated as a double homicide, but detectives said Monday they don't know how long the couple had been dead.

"(They were) sweet, soft-spoken, gentle people," Stone said, adding that the grandson had been attending prayer groups at the church for a few months.

When officers arrived Sunday, money was found in plain sight inside the house, and police said they did not believe that a home invasion had occurred. All of the vehicles at the home were accounted for.

"It was shocking. It was sad obviously," said Tony Passarella, a neighbor of the couple. "You see them in the neighborhood and then, to know that something like this can happen so close to home, it's startling."

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