After five full rings, Michael Stephen Walker answered the phone, out of breath but seemingly calm.
It was a 911 operator in Henderson County, N.C., ringing back because a previous call from Walker's phone had been nothing but a quiet rustling.
"Is everything OK?"
"No, I need an ambulance here immediately," the 44-year-old said. "My father just went berserk and he just passed out on the floor ... I'm scared. I think he's dead."
His father, 71-year-old Lilburn resident Gerald "Jerry" Walker, was in fact dead. If you believe the younger Walker's words in a 12-minute 911 call, the pair had gotten into an altercation and his father had fallen victim to a heart attack.
If you subscribe instead to the theory of the Henderson County Sheriff's Department -- and the local medical examiner -- Jerry Walker had been dead for quite a while by the time authorities were called on Jan. 27. The overpowering bleach smell in the condo on Sagebrush Circle in Etowah, about half an hour south of Asheville, was not a coincidence, they said.
Jerry Walker was murdered and his son killed him, they said.
The official account says that emergency personnel responded to the mountain condo, owned by Jerry Walker and lived in by his son, at 9:45 p.m. that Sunday night. Michael Walker reportedly suggested that his father collapsed during a fight and "must have had a heart attack."
When they arrived, "deputies immediately smelled a strong odor of bleach" and "inconsistencies in the time with regards to the victim's condition and the alleged heart attack."
"Preliminary autopsy results show Mr. Walker died of blunt force trauma to the head," Capt. Frank Stout of the Henderson County Sheriff's Office said on Thursday. "The complete results are normally available within eight to 10 weeks from the medical examiner's office."
Michael Walker was placed under arrest and charged with his father's murder. He remains in jail without bond.
The 911 call he made that night, obtained by the Daily Post, contains the only other details released about the case. In it, Walker maintained that his father attacked him, the duo got into a fight and his father just collapsed.
"Is he breathing?" the male operator asked shortly into the call.
"I can't tell sir," Michael Walker said, somehow monotone and struggling for breath at the same time. "He's just crazy. He came out of a the shower a while ago and he was just clearing garbage out of his house. I don't know what he's doing. He was crazy, attacked me. We were fighting...He was just going crazy at me, screaming at me sir."
During the call, Walker said the fight with his father went on for an hour or so. At first he said he "just blocked his punches," but later claimed he fought back. He repeatedly asked if help was coming.
Most of the background he offered to the dispatcher was not directly asked for.
"He came up from Georgia," he said. "This is his house, his condo. He came up just a couple of weeks back, everything was breaking in here, the appliances."
Later: "He attacked me. I fought, we fought, he fell down. He's bruised, I'm bruised. Please."
Walker administered chest compressions to his father's body for about six minutes of the call before telling the operator he needed to stop. He made no mention of any specific hits or falls that would have contributed to the blunt force trauma the medical examiner detected in his father.
The murder charges have been filed, but North Carolina authorities have not determined more specific possible motive.
Said Stout: "(Michael Walker) has requested counsel and has not given any indication or statement as to what may have led to the homicide."
County tax records show Jerry Walker, along with wife Helen, had lived in Lilburn since at least 2005, when he purchased a home on Four Winds Drive.