Son of New York woman found dead in Turks and Caicos questions ‘legitimacy’ of government’s probe

 

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The son of a woman who died whereas vacationing on the Club Med Turkoise resort on the Turks and Caicos Islands says he is involved with the legitimacy of a brand new authorities inquest into her demise, initially dominated homicide. The inquest, which ends Thursday is supposed to evaluation the official trigger of demise, and Marie Kuhnla’s son alleges island officers are hoping the courtroom will rethink the unique findings.

The 62-year-old public defender from Long Island, New York, vanished on Oct. 14, 2018 whereas vacationing with two colleagues from the Suffolk County Legal Aid Society. Her physique was found on Oct. 16 in the bushes of a distant space of the resort.

Marie Kuhnla and her household in an undated picture. From left to proper: Rick Kuhnla Jr., Rick Kuhnla Sr. and Marie Kuhnla.
(Courtesy: Kuhnla household)

The demise certificates issued by Turks and Caicos states that Kuhnla’s demise was a outcome of guide strangulation, and whereas police initially described the demise as a homicide, their tone shifted as time handed, based on Marie Kuhnla’s son, Rick Kuhnla Jr.

Abe George, a lawyer for the household says these sorts of hearings are uncommon and added that the police division is “making an attempt to solid doubt” on the preliminary trigger of demise.

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George stated that there is proof suggesting after being found, her stays have been put in entrance of a fridge exhaust fan blowing scorching air somewhat than contained in the fridge, with a doable intent to speed up decomposition of the physique previous to the medical expert’s arrival on the islands.

Despite the decomposition of Marie Kuhnla’s physique, which her son stated there was “incessant larvae on and round,” the medical expert, Dr. Michael Steckbauer, was nonetheless capable of decide that she died of strangulation by murder. Steckbauer informed NBC New York that he stands by the ruling.

During a civil listening to on the matter as half of a $10 million wrongful demise lawsuit, Steckbauer stated {that a} morgue worker had put the physique below the heated exhaust fan, and referred to as the motion “intentional.”

The employee “determined that she was going to put this particular decedent below a heated exhaust (fan), which no, I don’t assume is suitable. I do assume in this case, it rises to the extent of prison legal responsibility… from what I’ve been informed, her actions have been intentional,” Steckbauer stated throughout the listening to, based on the report.

AMERICAN TOURIST FOUND DEAD IN TURKS AND CAICOS; MURDER INVESTIGATION LAUNCHED, POLICE SAY

Marie Kuhnla on a zip-line.

Marie Kuhnla on a zip-line.
(Kuhnla household)

Additionally, Ed Dowd, a personal investigator for the household stated that Marie Kuhnla had suffered damaged ribs, bruising on the inside thighs, and stated that her physique was partially disrobed, suggesting that she might have been sexually assaulted earlier than the demise.

According to Rick Kuhnla Jr., the lead investigating police officer from the islands over his mom’s homicide case traveled to Long Island in 2019 and met along with his father, Rick Kuhnla Sr., and started expressing that he didn’t assume that Marie Kuhnla’s demise was the outcome of a murder.

Instead, based on Rick Kuhnla Jr., the police officer believed that the demise was the outcome of positional asphyxia, which is the place an individual’s place causes improper respiration, which may result in demise.

“I believe that they’ve the curiosity that tourism is their primary business and it is loads smoother for them to say that she died accidentally in some bushes.”

 

“He thinks that she simply bought herself right into a place in the bushes the place she could not breathe, which did not occur. It’s not doable. We’ve talked to, you realize, via our lawyer, we have gotten in contact with retired NYPD officers who run a personal investigation agency and stated that that is simply absurd,” Kuhnla Jr. stated.

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Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo.

Marie Kuhnla and her household in an undated picture.
(Kuhnla household)

Kuhnla Jr. stated if the hearings have been authentic, solely forensic pathologists who examined the physique could be allowed to talk on the listening to. That is not the case in these hearings, which Kuhnla Jr. has attended in-person and just about.

Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo.

Marie Kuhnla and her household in an undated picture.
(Kuhnla household)

When Marie Kuhnla was found dead, she was barefoot and her ft have been clear, signaling that she did not stroll via the gravel on the resort. Marie Kuhnla’s sandals have been found a whole lot of ft away from her physique, based on Kuhnla Jr.

The police officer who was over the investigation, nonetheless, claimed throughout the inquest hearings that Marie Kuhnla had “crawled” to the bush. The son calls this declare “outrageous.”

“Which is a fairly outrageous assertion that he is principally saying that he thinks my mother crawled into this obscure space on the Club Med property, planted herself in the bushes, and then someway handed away,” Kuhnla Jr. stated.

Kuhnla Jr. alleges that the Turks and Caicos has a purpose for masking the demise up: Tourism.

“I believe that they’ve the curiosity that tourism is their primary business and it is loads smoother for them to say that she died accidentally in some bushes,” Kuhnla Jr. stated.

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Marie Kuhnla

Marie Kuhnla
(Marie Kuhnla)

Kuhnla Jr. stated that he remembers his mom as a “fantastic and selfless particular person.”

“She made loads of sacrifices for me rising up, and I can actually see, you realize, what an enormous distinction that this made in my life. But she was all the time type to all people. She all the time helped anyone out if she noticed any person in want. And it is actually one thing I attempt to bear in mind and actually attempt to emulate in my very own life,” Kuhnla Jr. stated.

Club Med stated in an announcement that it’s cooperating with the inquest.

“The total Club Med household is enormously saddened by the demise of Ms. Kuhnla,” a Club Med spokesperson informed Fox News Digital. “The security, safety and well-being of all of our friends stay our highest precedence.  At this time, we’re persevering with to cooperate with the general public inquiry and can not remark any additional on the energetic litigation.”

Fox News’ Michael Ruiz contributed to this report.

 


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