NEWPORT BEACH (CBSLA)   — A detective says he was hired by a couple to find their son a week before their child allegedly murdered them.

“They wanted to hire me because they wanted to get a conservatorship so they could help him,” Michael Youssef told KCAL9’s Stacey Butler.

Police say Camden Nicholson, 27, killed his parents, Kim and Rick, as well as a family housekeeper — Maria Morse, 57  — last week.

Authorities said Kim and Rick (61 and 64, respectively) hired Youssef of Blue Systems Investigations because they couldn’t find their son and were worried about him.

When Youssef heard the couple was found murdered, he was stunned.

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“I heard it on the news, I was in shock,” Youssef says.

“His mother felt like he was suffering from mental illness,” Youssef says, “he was using a lot of pot and steroids.”

They told Yussef that Camden stole his mom’s car and stormed out of their Newport Beach home in December. All this time, they had no idea where he was living.

“They wanted to find him safely. They were worried more if he committed suicide,” Youssef says.

The parents were able to track Camden down last month when they got a $15,000 credit card bill from a hotel in Orange County.

(credit: CBS)

“He was giving away thousand dollar tips on the family’s credit card,” Youssef says.

Kim and Rick canceled the card and — again — lost track of their son.

Youssef says he was able to confirm that Camden was addicted to porn and contacted escorts.

In a statement to Youssef, Camden’s mom said her son was diagnosed with Aspergers and was ordering steroids on the internet.

She said his eight-year battle with mental illness and depression began when he returned home from a Mormon missionary trip.

My son Camden left on an LDS mission to Jacksonville, Florida Spanish-speaking mission in March 2010, at the age of 19-years-old. Before Camden left on his mission, he was one of the most kindest, gentle, easy-going, and functioning young men. After nine months is in the mission field, the doctor called stating, ‘Camden wanted to commit suicide.’

Youssef says the parents were wonderful people.

“The mother was really a good person and the father was very nice and professional and they just wanted to reach out and help him,” he says.

The private eye says he never had any indication that Camden threatened his parents or that they may have been in any danger.

“It’s a very, very sad story,” Youssef says.

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