A housewife in the northwest Italian city of Genoa discovered the decomposing body of an elderly neighbour under her son's bed on Tuesday, leading to the man's arrest for suspected murder.
During police questioning, 34-year-old cook Pierluigi Bonfiglio confessed to killing 86-year-old Anna Carla Arecco, who was allegedly found with a crushed skull by Bonfliglio's mother when she was cleaning his room.
Bonfiglio's mother was taken ill after the grim discovery, local daily Il Secolo XIX reported.
Police also grilled Bonfiglio's mother and his stepfather after they found traces of blood on the walls of the family apartment.
Bonfiglio, a drug addict, told police he got Arecco to let him and a pusher into her flat on Friday on a pretext and the pusher then took Arecco to Bonfiglio's apartment while he ransacked hers, allegedly stealing around 40 euros and three rings.
Investigators were searching for Bonfiglio's alleged accomplice and the murder weapon, believed to be a blunt object, as well as Arecco's house keys, which were not found in her or Bonfiglio's apartment.
Arecco's daughters reported her missing on Saturday and told police they notice "a large sum" of money and valuables were missing from the safe when they let themselves into her flat after ringing on the bell and getting no response.