James and Stan Wolf found their mom's body covered in a blanket, an ice pick in her chest and a bloody sledgehammer resting on her swollen face.
The gruesome discovery Wednesday at Fran's Roadhouse in Warren has perplexed police and family members of 68-year-old Fran Wolf, who owned the tavern.
The suspect was arrested Thursday at a home in Detroit.
William Thomas Dunlap, 44, is accused of beating Wolf in the head with a sledgehammer before stabbing her in front of a security camera at 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
The motive for the vicious attack appears to be robbery, officials said.
Police said they suspect he wanted the money to feed a drug addiction.
At most, he took a few thousand dollars, bartenders and family members said.
But what is perplexing is Dunlap's cool demeanor just an hour before the killing.
Bartenders, patrons and family members told the Free Press that Dunlap was bellied up at the bar, seeming stable and even joyful.
"I didn't see anything unusual," James Wolf said Thursday. "That's what makes this surreal."
But Dunlap drew red flags.
He was released from prison in November after serving a minimum sentence -- 7 years -- for armed robbery.
In April, a bruised Fran Wolf told Warren Police that Dunlap had punched her in the face, knocking her down and robbing her.
She later asked that he not be charged.
"She wanted to give him another chance," Stan Wolf said. "She was compassionate."
Still, no one could have foreseen what happened early Sunday morning.
"There was nothing about him that made me think he was about to flip," said Fabian Griffith, who left the bar less than an hour before the killing, tapping Dunlap on the shoulder to say good-bye.
Dunlap is to be charged with murder today in 37th District Court in Warren.