A 16-year-old who is accused of killing his mother has confessed to beating her to death in their South Philadelphia home, police said Tuesday.

Kendall Anderson has been charged as an adult in the death of 37-year-old Rashida Anderson. Police believe the teenager attacked his mother with a hammer and with part of a wooden piece of furniture, then hid her body in an alleyway behind the house, said Philadelphia Sgt. Tim Cooney.

Anderson was charged Monday night with murder, abuse of a corpse, and related crimes. He admitted his guilt in a statement to police, Cooney said.

Police have not commented on a possible motive for the slaying.

Police say they believe that Anderson killed his mother on Saturday, in their rowhouse on the 400 block of Jackson Street. Anderson then reported his mother missing to police and dragged her body to the backyard, then to a back alley. There, Cooney said, Anderson piled things on top of his mother's body, including a dresser without drawers, a flowerpot, and other debris.

"He was trying to cover his tracks," Cooney said.

When other family members visited the house during the weekend, they suspected something was not right and notified police, Cooney said. Police served a search warrant on the house Monday morning and found a trail of blood leading to the body.

Rashida Anderson, who also had an older daughter in college, had lived on the block with her son for more than 10 years. Neighbors expressed shock after her death, describing her as a courteous woman who attended church frequently and had a smile for everyone she greeted. Though the single mother had expressed some concerns about her son's penchant for getting into trouble, neighbors said the Anderson home seemed quiet and peaceful.

Kendall Anderson has no violent criminal record, police said, though he had been arrested and charged with the theft of a laptop from his school. He attended Bodine High School last year, though police said he might have transferred since then. It was not clear in which school the alleged theft took place.

Police were not aware of any prior concerns regarding Kendall Anderson's mental health, Cooney said.

Contact staff writer Allison Steele at 215-854-2641 or asteele@phillynews.com.