12 1of12Stamford's Robert Simmons, 51, is arraigned on charges of murder, felony murder and home invasion at Connecticut Superior Court in Stamford, Conn. Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Simmons is charged with murdering 93-year-old Isabella Mehner in her Stamford South End home on Sept. 25. According to the medical examiner, Mehner’s injuries were not consistent with a fall down the stairs, and Simmons was identified as a suspect in the homicide using DNA analysis to match a spot of blood found on his pants to Mehner.Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut MediaShow MoreShow Less 2of12Stamford's Robert Simmons, 51, is arraigned on charges of murder, felony murder and home invasion at Connecticut Superior Court in Stamford, Conn. Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Simmons allegedly murdered 93-year-old Isabella Mehner in her Stamford South End home on Sept. 25. According to the medical examiner, Mehner’s injuries were not consistent with a fall down the stairs, and Simmons was identified as a suspect in the homicide using DNA analysis to match a spot of blood found on his pants to Mehner.Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut MediaShow MoreShow Less 3of12 4of12Stamford's Robert Simmons, 51, is arraigned on charges of murder, felony murder and home invasion at Connecticut Superior Court in Stamford, Conn. Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019. Simmons is charged with murdering 93-year-old Isabella Mehner in her Stamford South End home on Sept. 25. According to the medical examiner, Mehner’s injuries were not consistent with a fall down the stairs, and Simmons was identified as a suspect in the homicide using DNA analysis to match a spot of blood found on his pants to Mehner.Tyler Sizemore / Hearst Connecticut MediaShow MoreShow Less 5of12Isabella Mehner in a 2009 photo with her granddaughter Dylan Manzke. Police say Mehner, 93, was killed in her Cove Road homeon Wednesday in Stamford.Manzke family / ContributedShow MoreShow Less 6of12 7of12Isabella Mehner, in green short sleeved shirt from a 2010 wedding of her Grandson Warner Manzke. Police say Mehner, 93, was killed in her Cove Road home on Wednesday in Stamford.Manzke family / ContributedShow MoreShow Less 8of12A home on Cove Road where a woman was found dead Wednesday. Police have ruled it a homicide.John Nickerson / StaffShow MoreShow Less 9of12 10of12A home on Cove Road where a woman was found dead Wednesday. Police have ruled it a homicide.John Nickerson / StaffShow MoreShow Less 11of12South End homeless man Robert Simmons, 51, has been arrested in the home invasion and murder of 93-year-old Isabella Mehner in her Cove Road home in late September. Simmons was charged with murder, felony murder and home invasion. He is being held on a $2,000,000 bond.Stamford Police photoShow MoreShow Less 12of12 STAMFORD — A South End homeless man was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with killing 93-year-old Isabella Mehner for her wedding ring in late September. Robert Simmons, 51, whose address is the men’s shelter on Pacific Street, was charged with felony murder, murder and home invasion. Both felony murder and murder carry minimum sentences of 25 years but can be punishable by up to 60 years in prison. Police say Simmons targeted Mehner and it was not a random act of violence. They said Simmons was familiar with Mehner and had worked at her home in the past. On Sept. 25, at about 8 p.m., police responded to 565 Cove Road after Mehner’s daughter found her unresponsive at the bottom of the cellar stairs. Through an investigation and with the assistance of the Office of Chief Medical Examiner, police determined the injuries sustained by Mehner were not consistent with a fall and her death was ruled a homicide. Based of video footage of the area, investigators tracked down Simmons two days later only to discover he was wearing jeans with Mehner’s blood on them, according to his arrest warrant. At Simmons’ arraignment at the Stamford courthouse early Wednesday afternoon, Supervisory Assistant State’s Attorney Paul Ferencek said Simmons had numerous convictions for larcenies and violations of probation going back 30 years. Ferencek implored Judge Bruce Hudock to keep the court-appearance bond at $2 million for Simmons, who was dressed in a red-and-white stripped shirt and who spent much of the arraignment gripping and releasing his hands that were locked together in handcuffs. Public Defender Mark Welsh, who represented Simmons for his arraignment, said his client did not have a chance of posting a bond for even half that amount. Hudock, however, kept the bond at $2 million and scheduled Simmons to return to court on Dec. 10. More for youNewsKilling of 93-year-old woman shakes Stamford residentsBy John NickersonNewsPolice ID 93-year-old woman in Stamford homicideBy Tara O'Neill The courthouse’s senior public defender, Howard Ehring, who will be representing Simmons going forward, declined to comment on the allegations, saying that he has not yet read Simmons 12-page arrest warrant that includes the evidence police and the state say they have against him. Capt. Richard Conklin called Mehner’s murder one of the most “heinous and vile” crimes he has been a witness to in his 39-year career with the Stamford Police Department. Mehner’s daughter Sandra Manzke said she could not thank the police enough for all the hard work they did. “At the beginning when this happened, I thought there was no way in hell they would find out who did this. I have to give them credit, they have done a fantastic job,” said Manzke, who lives in Vermont. Manzke said her mother’s last moments would have to have been straight out of a nightmare. Even though she was 93, Mehner was so energetic that Manzke said she figured her mother would live to be 100. “It bothers me so much that she had to fight off someone who ultimately killed her. It is so ridiculous,” she said. Police were called to Mehner’s home at the corner of Cove Road and Willowbrook Avenue when another daughter, Ellen Blanchard, found her at the bottom of the cellar stairs at about 8 p.m. on Sept. 25 and called police, according to Simmons’ arrest warrant. Blanchard told police she had tried to call her mother without success that evening and when she got to the house she found the back door closed but unlocked. She told police her mother always locked her doors. Going into the home she found the basement door closed, which she also found unusual because her mother always left it open. When she opened the door, she saw her mother unresponsive at the bottom of the stairs with blood on her head and a metal mop handle across the stairwell. Mehner, who was missing her wedding and engagement rings, had small cuts on the left side of her face and a large one on the back of her left hand. Because of the missing jewelry, injuries and blood spatter at the bottom of the cellar stairs, her death did not appear to be the result of an accidental slip and fall, the affidavit said. Her family told police she typically had between $50 and $80 in her wallet, but when police found the wallet at the bottom of the stairs, it had no money in it — another red flag for investigators. Searching through surveillance cameras in the area, police found one belonging to Chelsea Piers that showed a black man walk down Mehner’s driveway and go into the side door of the home at 5:39 p.m. on Sept. 25. The man emerged eight minutes later and walked away, westbound on Cove Road. Police said the man was the only one to enter the home before Mehner’s daughter arrived at 8 p.m. Police then went to area stores and found video footage of what appeared to be the same man walking past a mini mart; a private surveillance camera nearby showed the same man. Eventually police were able to secure a clear image of the man and distributed a description of his pants, shirt and face. Two days after Mehner died, police stopped a man on Pacific Street matching the description. Simmons was wearing the same black baseball cap, dark long-sleeved shirt, blue jeans with cuffs rolled up to the ankle with a distinctive pattern on the rear pockets, black sneakers and a black cord bracelet as the man in the video. After talking to the supervisory assistant state’s attorney, police seized Simmons’ clothing as evidence. Simmons denied being on the East Side at the time of Mehner’s death and denied being involved in her death. Furthermore, he said he did not know the 93-year-old woman nor had he ever been in her home, police said. Investigators, however, found a police report from May when Simmons was accused of taking a work van without permission from Mehner’s granddaughter and her husband, who used the van for his sewer and drain company. Richard Sachs told police he had hired Simmons on and off for the past four years at his drain service company, the affidavit said. Sachs told police Simmons had been to Mehner’s house several times working on faulty drain pipes and he was sure that Simmons was familiar with both the house and his wife’s grandmother. Despite texts police had between Sachs and Simmons in which Simmons admitted to knowing Mehner, Simmons continued to deny ever being to the house or knowing Mehner, police said. Then police got a report back from the state forensics lab. A reddish-brown stain on Simmons’ jeans tested positive for Mehner’s blood. The state forensics lab said it was 100 billion times more likely to have originated from Mehner than someone else, the affidavit said. Samples taken from Mehner’s hands and from underneath her fingernails also matched to Simmons, but not as conclusively as the blood stain had. “Through old-fashioned police work combined with some 21st-century investigative techniques and the assistance of the State of Connecticut Crime Lab, we were able to identify Robert Simmons as a suspect in this case and collect numerous pieces of evidence linking him to the crime,” the department said in a statement, which singled out the work of Sgt. Christopher DiCarlo and Officers Michael Longo, Angel Gonzalez and Christopher Friel. “It is our hope that this arrest can bring some peace to the family and friends of Isabella Mehner.” An earlier version of this story had an incorrect mug shot of Simmons.