Police: Clearwater man confessed to killing his mother with his 7-year-old daughter home

CLEARWATER, Fla. - Commotion is not something residents on El Trinidad Drive East are used to seeing or hearing.

But Monday night the street was filled with Clearwater Police officers, and a home on the street is a murder scene.

"Got to pray for them tonight, I guess," said Gerald Frey, neighbor. "It is a sad day."

Police say around 6:30 p.m., 33-year-old Matthew Lohoski walked into the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office on Ulmerton Road and told the receptionist he killed his mother.

Officers found the body of 59-year-old Deborah Lohoski in a backyard.

Investigators say Lohoski initially tried to kill his mother by putting her in a choke hold until she became unconscious.

He left her outside the house and went inside to a bedroom where he had left his 7-year-old daughter in front of a video game with the sound turned up.

When he went back outside, Lohoski found his mother still breathing. He then used a box cutter to slit her throat and armpit in an effort to cut an artery, investigators said.

He returned to check on his daughter.

When he returned to his mother, she was still alive. He tried to use a plastic zip tie to choke her, but the zip tie broke.

Lohoski went to check on his daughter again. He then went to a shed, grabbed a sledgehammer and used it to hit his mother three times in the head.

Before turning himself in, Lohoski dropped his daughter off at a friend's house.

His motive is unclear at this time. However, neighbors said Matthew struggled with alcoholism and often argued with his mother in the driveway.

Matthew's mother moved into the home to help raise her granddaughter just weeks after the his wife left him, neighbors said.

Neighbors said they are stunned by the murder because they did not hear anything. 

Frey, whose backyard backs up to the crime scene, said he was outside walking his dogs and did not hear anything.

Another neighbor, who asked not to be identified, said she was outside smoking around the time of the murder and also did not hear anything.

Early Tuesday morning, police announced they charged Matthew Lohoski with first-degree murder.

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