Turks and Caicos jury rejects bid to reclassify New York lady’s strangling at Membership Med resort as an accident


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A jury within the Turks and Caicos Islands has rejected an effort to reclassify the trigger and method of loss of life within the 2018 strangling of a New York lawyer staying on the Membership Med Turkoise resort with buddies.

The inquest was a courtroom continuing to re-examine the health worker’s unique discovering that Kuhnla had been choked to loss of life by hand. Her household’s New York lawyer, Abe George, warned that the federal government and resort had been colluding to have her loss of life deemed an accident to keep away from accountability.

“It’s a small step, but it is a victory for us,” Rick Kuhnla Jr., Kuhnla’s son, informed Each day Submit Digital after the jury rendered its choice. “We’re hoping this puts pressure on the police department to make an arrest, as their own court system rejected their claim that her death was accidental.”

Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo.

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


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Kuhnla Jr., his father and their supporters had warned that they suspected an try at a cover-up by Turks and Caicos police and Membership Med, who they stated teamed as much as dispute the designation and cross-examine witnesses through the inquest.

Marie Kuhnla and her family in an undated photo. From left to right: Rick Kuhnla Jr., Rick Kuhnla Sr. and Marie Kuhnla.

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)

Dr. Michael Steckbauer, the health worker, labeled her loss of life a murder by guide strangulation shortly after her stays had been found in a bush at a distant a part of the resort on Oct. 16, 2018. He defended his findings through the inquest towards scrutiny from attorneys for each the federal government and resort.

A screengrab of Kuhnla's Turks and Caicos death certificate.

A screengrab of Kuhnla’s Turks and Caicos loss of life certificates.
(Nassau County Clerk)

A Turks and Caicos investigator visited Kuhnla’s widower, Rick Kuhnla Sr., in 2019 and floated the likelihood that his spouse’s loss of life had been an accident, in response to George, the lawyer. The household rejected that concept – citing Steckbauer’s findings and different proof that Ed Dowd, a non-public investigator, had uncovered.

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Trevor Botting, the island’s police commissioner, had beforehand declined to remark, citing the pending case. He informed Each day Submit Digital that he was making ready to make an announcement on the inquest’s conclusion later Tuesday night.

Marie Kuhnla poses in an undated photo.

Marie Kuhnla poses in an undated picture.
(Marie Kuhnla)

The proceedings additionally revealed beforehand undisclosed proof within the case, together with the outcomes of DNA testing that discovered seminal fluid on Kuhnla’s underwear and described blood discovered on her clothes and physique.

The DNA take a look at outcomes, dated Dec. 7, 2018, weren’t made public till Friday, in response to George, who’s representing the household in a wrongful loss of life lawsuit within the U.S. They had been based mostly on samples collected between the invention of her stays on Oct. 16 of that 12 months and Oct. 20, when police took proof from a male visitor’s room on the resort.

Police in Turks and Caicos launched a murder investigation after American tourist Marie Kuhnla was found dead in the bushes near a resort.

Police in Turks and Caicos launched a homicide investigation after American vacationer Marie Kuhnla was discovered useless within the bushes close to a resort.
(Royal Turks and Caicos Island Police Power)


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That visitor, Frank Yacullo Jr., was with Kuhnla when she was final seen and has been named alongside Membership Med in a wrongful loss of life lawsuit filed in Nassau County, New York. However the DNA findings didn’t hyperlink him to her loss of life, and police haven’t named him a suspect.

The DNA evaluation discovered semen on Kuhnla’s underwear and male DNA on her room’s door however not sufficient for a match, courtroom paperwork present. 


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