San Jose police arrested the girlfriend of an elderly man with dementia who had been missing for a month and was found Thursday morning in his own apartment, stabbed to death under a pile of linens and blankets.
Sgt. Jason Dwyer on Friday said investigators believe Stanley Jacobson, 69, had been dead for about a month, and they arrested his girlfriend, Regina Butler, 47, on charges of murder.
She had been wanted for questioning in a financial fraud investigation. And Dwyer said she possibly had been trying to defraud Jacobson of some insurance money.
Jacobson was last seen on Feb. 5, and reported missing by his granddaughter on Feb. 18. The public appeal on Feb. 26 was that he had dementia and was at risk. Police were seeking Butler at that time, too.
Dwyer said the grandaughter had visited Jacobson's Hilltop Manor Senior Apartments complex on Ironwood Drive several times in the last month, but hadn't found him. Even the police department's missing unit investigators went inside the apartment as late as Feb. 22 and took pictures inside, never realizing that the man's body was there, under a heap of blankets and laundry.
Then on Thursday, Jacobson's granddaughter stopped by the apartment again and spotted Butler there. She called police. Butler stayed and talked to detectives, who arrested her about 11:30 a.m.
Dwyer added that the pile of laundry and linens was so high inside the apartment that the material seemed to have masked any odor from the decaying body, which may have been there since either Feb. 5 or 8.
Jacobson is San Jose's eighth homicide of the year. Last year at this time there were six.
Jacobson had been known to his friends as "the Magician," and were shocked to learn that their buddy had not been missing, he had been dead.
"We've been looking everywhere for him for the last three to four weeks," Mike Christian, Jacobson's friend and neighbor said on Thursday night. "So this is a shock. I mean just total shock that this happened."
NBC Bay Area's George Kiriyama contributed to this report.