Law & Order

SON SAVES THE DAY: A 20-year-old Modesto man chased down and recovered his mother's purse Thursday night from the knife-wielding suspect who had just stolen it from her, police reported. Modesto police Sgt. Craig Gundlach said the son suffered a broken hand and some scrapes to his elbow during the struggle. The robbery occurred at 6:30 p.m. in the 200 block of Capistrano Drive when a 48-year-old woman was outside her home, Gundlach said. A man wielding a knife approached and demanded her purse. She handed it over and screamed as the man fled. Her 20-year-old son heard her screams and ran outside. He spotted the fleeing man and gave chase into a field. The man swung the knife at the son, but he fought back until police arrived, Gundlach said. The suspect, James Kelly, 40, of Turlock, had scrapes and bruises on his face. He was taken to a hospital before he was booked into Stanislaus County jail early Friday. The names of the mother and son were not released. Kelly is on parole. He was arrested on suspicion of robbery, assault with a deadly weapon and a parole violation, Gundlach said. "That was a pretty dangerous thing to do, but it's probably something any son would have done after hearing their mother scream like that," said officer Jeff Sprueill, who investigated the case. "I bet you can't find a more thankful or a prouder mom tonight, that's for sure."

BODY REMAINS A MYSTERY: Stanislaus County coroner's officials Friday night were trying to identify the body of man found Thursday inside a home in a rural area a few miles south of Modesto. The body was discovered after sheriff's investigators went to the home in search of Bill Foletta, 21, who has been missing for at least three weeks, said deputy Royjindar Singh. Foletta was still missing Friday night. Singh said coroner's officials were using dental records to identify the body, but its decomposed condition made the process difficult. He said the body appeared to have been inside the home for a few weeks. Foletta's home is in the 1500 block of West Keyes Road, near a large orchard between Crows Landing and South Carpenter roads. On Tuesday, Foletta's parents reported their son was supposed to be back home last week after a trip two weeks ago, but he never returned. When investigators arrived at the home Wednesday, they spotted signs of a struggle inside and decided to wait for a search warrant, Singh said. The investigators staked out the home overnight and searched the home Thursday morning. Teshawn Sally, 20, was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of killing the man found dead in the home, Singh said.