CASTRO VALLEY (KPIX) — A 28-year-old man was charged Thursday for allegedly stabbing to death his father, a 55-year-old park craft specialist with the East Bay Regional Park District.
Troy Schwenk was found dead inside his home in Castro Valley on Monday.
Christopher Schwenk, who was convicted of felony unlawfully taking a vehicle in 2010, was arraigned in Alameda County Superior Court in Dublin Thursday afternoon and is scheduled to return to court on Dec. 3 to enter a plea.
“Our office has a history of calls for service at that location,” says Sgt. Ray Kelly, the spokesperson for the Alameda County Sheriffs Department. He’s talking about Troy Schwenk’s Castro Valley home, where Schwenk was found lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor.
“The family has had a number of struggles and we are trying to piece together everything to get the answers as to why and how this may have happened,” Sgt. Kelly said.
The suspect’s mother, Tanya, said her son has mental health issues and they were evicted from the Sunrise Village Shelter in Fremont several weeks ago after Christopher had an outburst.
The CEO of Abode Services, which operates Sunrise Village, said he wishes there was more they could do to help people suffering from mental illness but, often, their hands are tied.
“We need to help you be the best you can be with your disability but you can’t cross these lines,” Abode Services CEO Louis Chichoine said in an interview a few weeks before the murder.
Tanya Schwenk says that, after they were kicked out of the shelter, her son Christoper took off and she hasn’t seen him since October 1.
“I haven’t been there to make sure he takes his medication so that’s an issue. I don’t want him to get caught up in the mental health hospitals or jails from wandering around homeless,” Tanya Schwenk said in an interview on Oct. 23.
According to investigators with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, Christopher made his way to his father’s house off San Miguel Avenue in Castro Valley.
The charging documents allege that Christopher Schwenk killed his father sometime between Friday and Monday.
Christopher Schwenk was at the home when deputies arrived at the residence but didn’t respond when deputies asked where his father was and “casually walked away from the residence” before the deputies found his father’s body, according to sheriff’s deputy Laurina Holt.
“Not really certain what was going on with him but you could tell he wasn’t OK,” said neighbor Karen Chamberlain.
Neighbors say they’d see Chris at his dad’s house occasionally but generally stayed away from him due to a number of fights and disturbances.
Chamberlain said Troy was well respected at work and was adored by the neighborhood because he was always so friendly and helpful.
“He’d bring in garbage cans, take them out for you; if he saw you doing something in the yard and you might need help, he’d just stop and help. You’d never have to ask so he was very kind,” Chamberlain said.
Neighbors told KPIX the suspect has a younger brother, Elliott, who is also troubled.
According to Sgt. Kelly with the sheriff’s office, Elliott is also behind bars at the Alameda County Jail for an unrelated crime.
Older brother Christopher is being held without bond facing murder charges. He’s scheduled to be in court next month.
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