Bedford woman who allegedly killed her parents has ‘long-standing mental illness’

Local News

Jessica Cavallaro shot her two parents in the head in a car on Washington Street in Bedford, prosecutors say.

Bedford woman who allegedly killed her parents has ‘long-standing mental illness’
Jessica Cavallaro speaks with her attorney during her arraignment in Concord District Court. Lane Turner/Boston Globe

Jessica Cavallaro, the 24-year-old Bedford woman who allegedly killed her parents last week, has a “long-standing mental illness,” her lawyer told The Boston Globe.

Cavallaro is currently undergoing a “comprehensive psychiatric evaluation,” attorney Lorenzo Perez told the paper. She is facing two murder charges, two assault and battery charges, and another gun charge. Cavallaro is not scheduled to appear in court again until Aug. 20, according to court records.

Prosecutors say Cavallaro left work early on the morning of June 6 and said that she had a panic attack. She lived with her boyfriend’s parents on Washington Street in Bedford. Cavallaro reportedly spent about 30 minutes inside before leaving under the guise of getting breakfast with her parents.

Thelma Tatten and Mark Cavallaro, both 56, were waiting in a car outside. Jessica Cavallaro allegedly got into the car and shot them both in the head. She then returned to the house and confessed to the crimes, according to prosecutors.

The father of Cavallaro’s boyfriend told police that she may have gotten the murder weapon from a safe in his home, according to a police report obtained by the Globe.

Cavallaro was arrested at the scene and arraigned in Concord District Court last week. She was ordered held without bail and to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Mark Cavallaro suffered from anxiety and bipolar disorder for much of this life, according to a Facebook post he made earlier this year. He wrote about finding help at the Edinburg Center in Bedford and used social media to raise hundreds for a fundraiser organized by the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

The “tragedy … stems from her severe mental illness — a phenomenon which, sadly, seems to be increasingly common,” Perez told the Globe.

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