Hacksaw-wielding Canyon Lake man who tried to saw off mom’s leg arrested

CANYON LAKE, Calif. — A Canyon Lake man who called 911 and reported that he had just attempted to murder his mother with a hacksaw was arrested on the 30400 block of South Fork, between Continental and Cruise Circle drives, and just south of the lake’s East Bay, Thursday afternoon, Oct. 8.

Responding officers quickly detained the suspect before finding the man’s mother “in the master bedroom with half of her right foot severed,” Riverside County Sheriff’s officials have since reported.


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Deputies from the Lake Elsinore’s Canyon Lake Station responded to the private residence around 3 p.m., after the alleged suspect, Mark Vermillion, 61, of Canyon Lake, called 911 and told emergency dispatchers he had just attempted to murder his mother with a hacksaw, Riverside Sheriff’s Sgt. Jeff Reese later reported.

Deputies responding to reports that a man had just attempted to kill his mother with a hacksaw found the elderly victim with half of her right foot severed. The victim has been hospitalized and listed in stable condition, according to authorities. Canyon Lake Insider photo

Responding deputies quickly detained Vermillion at the scene before finding the elderly victim in the master bedroom with “half of her right foot severed,” described Reese; adding, “Deputies immediately performed life saving measures to the victim who was transported to Inland Valley Medical Center and listed in stable condition.”

As the investigation was continuing, members of the Lake Elsinore Station Investigations Bureau served a search warrant at the residence, where “investigators located a possible note left by the suspect,” said Reese; who did not specify the nature or content of the note.

Based on their investigation, officials arrested Vermillion who was later booked into Cois Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta and booked on suspicion of attempted murder, mayhem and elder abuse. 

Although Vermillion was initially being held in lieu of $1 million bail or bond, online jail records indicate he remains in custody without bail.


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The sheriff’s investigation is ongoing and no further details have been released.

Anyone with additional information is encouraged to contact Investigator Andrade at the Lake Elsinore Sheriff’s Station (951) 245-3300. Callers can refer to incident file number CN202820008 and can remain anonymous.

Mark Vermillion, 61, of Canyon Lake was arrested after using a hacksaw to partially sever his mother’s right leg. Vermillion reported the incident, telling emergency dispatchers he had just attempted to murder his mother with the hacksaw. RSO booking photo

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Trevor Montgomery, 49, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.