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UPDATE | Police say victim asked for help earlier in the day (Updated 4 p.m.)

City police confirmed today that the Ocean Springs artist beaten to death Saturday evening in her home had called police for help with her son earlier in the day.

Officers went to the home of Joan McCorkindale Armstrong during the day Saturday, said Lt. John Flowers, but there was no reason to take any action.

"She wanted them there as authority while she dealt with her son," Flowers said. "He had a history of mental problems. She knew that having officers present made her son more obedient; more controlled."

Armstrong's son, John Reed Armstrong, remained hospitalized today from self-inflicted wounds at Ocean Springs Hospital. He is a suspect in her death.

As of 3 p.m. today, detectives still had not interviewed Armstrong, who remains hospitalized. Hospital officials would not release his condition.

Flowers said he would release more details later today, after he had spoken with Armstrong's family.

"Yes, she called earlier in the day, and yes, officers did go out there," Flowers said. "But there was no reason to take action, nothing had occurred.

"No one was disorderly at that time," Flowers said. He said the officers left at her request.

Flowers said there are people in the city who are trying to put a different spin on what happened.

"Emotions get going. They want to blame someone," Flowers explained. "There's no one to blame but the suspect."

Police said they returned to the Armstrong house at 5:30 p.m. because friends called reporting "suspicious circumstances."

When police got there, John Armstrong came to the door with blood on him. Joan Armstrong was declared dead in her home at 5:41 p.m. Saturday.

An autopsy showed that she died of blunt-force trauma to the head. She was beaten in the head with a brick and stabbed multiple times, police said.

John Armstrong, 47, was not living at her house. He lived elsewhere in Ocean Springs, but in the past had lived with her mother. He did not work and was disabled, police said. Although police said in his history there was no information that he had assaulted his mother in the past, he had had encounters with police.

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