WILMER, Ala. (WKRG) — From her disappearance to the discovery of her body, and now the prosecution of her son, the murder of Susan Mayo in Mobile County has been a complex case with numerous twists and turns.
With Mayo’s son, Nathaniel Sebastian, now charged with murder, new details revealed in court are shedding light on how Mayo was killed and what happened in the days and weeks that followed.
While one date remains unclear — the day Mayo was actually murdered — we’re beginning to piece together the sequence of events surrounding her death.
Here are some of the key dates in the investigation:
June 17: Mayo reportedly last seen by family
The Mobile County Sheriff’s Office reached out to News 5 on June 30 regarding Susan Mayo’s disappearance. The sheriff’s office said family last saw her on June 17. Since then we’ve learned it was a different son — not Sebastian — who reported her missing.
July 26: Deputies search Mayo’s property; Sebastian named “person of interest”
Deputies served a search warrant at Mayo’s property in Wilmer, and for the first time since she disappeared, MCSO Captain Paul Burch said he feared Mayo might be dead. The sheriff’s office interviewed Sebastian and said he was “not cooperative” with the investigation, labeling him a person of interest in his mother’s disappearance.
August 16: Second search of Mayo’s property
After cadaver dogs showed strong interest in a shed on Mayo’s property during the first search, deputies and the dogs returned to the property to take a closer look. “I don’t know where my mom is, and I just want these detectives to back off,” Sebastian told News 5 at the scene. We now know that during that search, investigators found what appeared to be a blood stain on a recliner in the shed.
August 28: Sebastian arrested for obstructing governmental operations
Sebastian was booked into Metro Jail, but not on a murder charge. Deputies said he disrupted the cadaver dog searches at his mother’s property and arrested him for obstructing governmental operations. Sebastian was released on the obstruction charge on September 5.
September 6: Mayo’s body discovered; Sebastian booked for murder
During a third search of the property, as deputies prepared to search an area near Mayo’s front porch, investigators say Sebastian confessed, “my mother is under the porch.” Deputies found Mayo’s body in a barrel under the front porch. Sebastian was brought back to Metro Jail and booked on a murder charge.
September 21: Sebastian appears in court for preliminary hearing
During the hearing, graphic details emerged about how Mayo was killed. For the first time, we learned that investigators believe Sebastian shot and killed Mayo after some kind of argument. Investigators also revealed Sebastian told them he took a nap after the shooting, woke up still angry, and then punched his dead mother multiple times.
Investigators said Sebastian and his grandmother, Doris Clark, gave the gun to Sebastian’s brother in an attempt to hide it. The brother reportedly was unaware it was used in the crime.
Clark is currently charged with hindering prosecution.