Dayvon Heath called his mom around 7 p.m. on Friday. She could barely understand him through his ragged crying. "I love you. I love dad," he said repeatedly.
And then the son told her why he was really calling, which would later be spelled out in a report by law enforcement: He had stabbed and killed his girlfriend, Felicia Rich, in their New Port Richey home at 4936 Green Key Road. And then he stabbed himself.
Heath's mom, Fannie Earl, hung up and called the Pasco County Sheriff's Office.
"I'm sorry it happened and I wish he had called me before he even thought about doing this," Earl told the Tampa Bay Times when reached by phone in Delaware on Monday.
When deputies entered the couple's home a few minutes later, they found Heath unresponsive, holding Rich's body. The 28-year-old woman was bleeding from multiple stab wounds on her face, neck and torso, an arrest report said. A knife lay nearby.
Rich was pronounced dead at the scene. Heath, 26, who faces a charge of first-degree murder, was taken to an area hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries, deputies said. He had a stab wound to the neck, according to the arrest report. It was unclear on Monday whether he was still in the hospital.
Further information on the death was unavailable because of the holiday, the Sheriff's Office said.
Heath moved from Delaware to New Port Richey after visiting a friend there in September 2016, Earl said, and got a job at a call center. He met Rich this year, and they moved in together soon afterward, she said.
Rich posted on Facebook just a few hours before her death. "Sometimes you just have to walk away and consider it a lost cause," she wrote at 2:30 p.m. on Friday.
Someone under the name "Dayvon NiteOwl Heath" responded: "All due to the stupid alcohol."
Earl said she believes Heath's violent behavior was drug-related.
"I'm a mother. I know these things," she told the Times. "He would have never done this in his right mind."
Heath does not have a criminal history in Florida, according to state records.
Rich's family could not be reached for comment.