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Newport Beach Couple Allegedly Slain By Their Son Had Just Hired A Private Investigator To Watch Him

“It was just unbelievable. Out of my 27 years experience, I never had anything like this,” private investigator Michael Youssef said of Camden Nicholson's alleged murder of his parents.

By Jill Sederstrom

A Newport Beach couple hired a private investigator to document their son’s strange behavior just days before he is accused of killing them in their home, along with the family’s housekeeper.

Camden B. Nicholson, 27, has been charged with homicide after his parents Kim and Richard Nicholson and their housekeeper Maria Morse were found murdered in their home Feb. 13, according to KABC.

Less than a week earlier on Feb. 8, private investigator Michael Youssef said the worried parents had hired him to track their son’s erratic behavior in an effort to gain enough evidence to obtain a conservatorship.

“So one of my main goals was to surveillance him, and to document his mental erratic behavior,” he told the local station.

The Nicholsons allegedly reported a string of troubling incidents with their son in the months before their deaths, telling Youssef that he had charged nearly $15,000 on his father’s credit card, had contacted escorts and had stolen his father’s car in December after getting into a fight with his parents.

“Both parents said he was smoking lots of weed and getting steroids from online on the internet,” he said.

The worried parents told Youssef their son's erratic behavior began in 2010 after he returned from a missionary trip with the Mormon church. After the trip, Kim Nicholson told the detective in a letter that he had become depressed, suicidal and angry—a departure from the kind and easy-going son who had embarked on the trip.

Camden Nicholson mug shot

But nothing had indicated he may be capable of murder, Youssef told KABC.

"I was shocked," Youssef said of hearing the news. "It was just unbelievable. Out of my 27 years experience, I never had anything like this."

Newport Beach Police discovered the bodies of Nicholson’s parents and the family’s housekeeper earlier this month after being asked to conduct a welfare check by emergency room staff who were treating Camden Nicholson, according to the Orange County Register.

Investigators believe Nicholson killed his parents first and then killed the housekeeper a day later in the family’s gated community home, according to a criminal complaint obtained by the paper.

Maria Morse’s daughter, Miriam Trujillo, said her mother had worked for the family for more than 10 years.

Investigators have not yet released a motive in the killings.

Nicholson is being held at the Orange County Jail.