The Merced County district attorney's office said Tuesday that it is filing murder and elder abuse charges against Denise Lai, who is suspected of killing her 65-year-old mother last week in the Los Banos home they shared.
About 2:40 p.m. Aug. 3, Los Banos police officers found Carolyn Ninomiya lying on the ground.
The officers discovered Ninomiya had been strangled and it appeared she had been dead for several hours, Los Banos police said Tuesday.
About three hours before that discovery, officers encountered Lai, 47, with self-inflicted stab wounds at a Los Banos business parking lot.
Lai told the officers she stabbed herself earlier and wanted to die. Lai was taken to a hospital.
Lai's family told Los Banos police she was living with her mother, Ninomiya, at a home in the 800 block of Auction Street in Los Banos.
The family tried to call Ninomiya, but they could not reach her.
Officers went to the home and found her body.
During an interview with authorities, Lai admitted to killing her mother the previous evening before trying to commit suicide, police said.
Lai was being held at the Merced County Jail without bail Tuesday evening.