Deputies: Argument over chores led to murder

1:52 PM, Dec 2, 2013   |    comments
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AURORA - An Aurora woman told investigators that she shot her mother after an argument about chores during a car trip, according to Eagle County court records.

Traci Cunningham, 28, is being held without bond and makes her first court appearance Monday.

Her mother, 60-year-old Penelope "Penny" Sue Cunningham, was found dead on Gypsum Creek Road outside Eagle on Friday morning. Sheriff's investigators say she was shot several times and was lying in the road in a pool of blood. A passerby found the body.

Investigators tracked Traci's car to Lakewood on Saturday and arrested her at a bagel shop.

The arrest affidavit says Traci confessed to the crime. Traci and Penny were on a trip to hike and take photos near Grand Junction.

While driving on Gypsum Creek Road, the women talked about Traci's lack of housework and animal care, according to the affidavit. Traci stopped the car, and Penny got out and walked down the road.

According to the affidavit, Traci told detectives she found her mom's handgun in the back of the car, walked up the road and "everything goes black."

Traci said she ran back to the car and drove home "pretending it was all a bad dream," according to the affidavit.

Neighbors say Penny Cunningham is a former nun who adopted Traci. Penny Cunningham was a teacher at Maxwell Elementary School in Denver.

(KUSA-TV © 2013 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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