A Prescott, Arizona woman’s body was found in her home Tuesday. 77-year-old Sandra Aven had not been seen recently by her neighbor, who called Police to investigate her absence. Police sent to investigate learned that Sandra’s daughter and granddaughter lived next door to Sandra’s Country Club Drive home.
46-year-old Tara Aven and her 24-year-old daughter, Briar Aven, were questioned by police, yet their stories were inconsistent. Briar informed police that her grandmother was away, out of town. After hearing their conflicting information, police then entered the home next door and discovered a body, which was believed to be Sandra Aven’s. Her body was not immediately identified.
Upon determining that Tara and her daughter were giving conflicting reports of Sandra’s whereabouts, they were questioned further. The continuing interrogation of the women revealed their involvement in the death of Sandra.
Both Tara and Briar eventually confessed to having killed Sandra Aven in her home late in 2017. After her death, the women had also been collecting and cashing Sandra’s monthly Social Security checks. The women have been arrested and were booked at the county jail in Yavapai County.
The Aven’s are being charged with murder in the first degree, evidence tampering and fraud. Tara Aven has a $1 million bond set, though her daughter is held without bond. A court appearance has been set for the following week.
Police investigators spoke with Sandra’s ex-husband and learned about a tumultuous relationship within the family. He informed investigators that Tara suffered from mental health conditions, and that Briar was known for being a ‘mean person.’ He reported, “Tara is not a bad person, I don’t believe. This is my personal opinion. Even when she was going through her issues, she didn’t act mean in any way, but Briar did.”
Various neighbors of the Aven’s told police multiple impressions of the two women. Some reporting that they were nice and acted friendly, though others reported that their demeanor had changed in recent months.
Briar Aven’s former teacher provided a statement on Tuesday in regard to Briar. “Briar Aven was a student at Northpoint who graduated 6 years ago. During my time as her English teacher, I found her to be a solid student. I have not had contact with her in several years, and lost track of her and her family. This is a horrible situation and we are as shocked and saddened to hear the news as anyone else.”
Prescott Police have asked that anyone with information regarding the murder of Sandra Aven, please contact them.