Mom filed mental health warrant against son day before she was killed

HOUSTON, Texas -- Cindy Therwhanger was a therapist and a counselor who helped people cope with trauma and family violence. For six years she worked at Shield-Bearer Counseling Center.

"A very generous person," said Executive Director Roy Wooten. "(With) a generous heart."

The loss is difficult, especially given the circumstances. Investigators said Saturday that Therwanger was stabbed to death. Her 30-year-old son, Tyler, was arrested at the scene. His clothes were bloody.

"We are, all of us, in grief," said Wooten. "Shocked, and in deep sadness."

She was a mother to three and a grandmother to two. She also worked at Northwest Ministries, which said they grieve her loss and offer sympathy to the family -- a family that told ABC13 they are struggling.

Eyewitness News has learned on Friday, the day before the 55-year-old was killed in her northwest Harris County home, she filed for a mental health warrant against her son.

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Deputies say the suspect had blood on his clothes and was trying to leave in her car.

"If they state the sufficient facts that this person may be suffering from a mental illness and because of the mental illness they pose a threat, either to themselves or to others, then the judge will sign the warrant," explained Harris County Probate Court 3 Judge Rory Olsen.

Precinct 1 Constable Alan Rosen said that after a judge signed it, within four hours, his deputies went looking for Tyler Therwhanger.

"We made a few attempts to get this young man and bring him into the hospital for an evaluation by a medical doctor," said Rosen.

They could not find him. When they checked back the next morning, it was too late.

A woman who spent her adult life helping those coping with violence was a victim.

"She was really gifted and wise in her work with seeing pain in people's lives and bringing them some comfort and healing there," said Wooten.

Tyler Therwhanger is in the Harris County Jail's medical unit on a capital murder charge.
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