Son charged in mother's strangling death in Baltimore after funeral home discovers signs of trauma, police say

A 32-year-old man has been charged with murder in the strangling death of his 63-year-old mother in her Northeast Baltimore home after funeral home employees preparing the woman’s body for burial discovered signs of trauma to her head and neck that had not been apparent to law enforcement, police said Friday.

Erich Justin Kuhn was arrested Thursday and transported to Central Booking, charged with first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault, and a weapons charge, police said.

According to a statement of charges, Kuhn “provided a complete confession” of the crime, giving “details on how he attacked his mother in the television room and struck her with his bare hands,” then “strangled her for approximately 7 minutes until she stopped gurgling and finally died.”

The weapon charge, the document says, relates to Kuhn using a “telephone cord” with “the intent and purpose of causing injury” to his mother.

Kuhn, of the 3000 block of Hamilton Avenue, did not have an attorney listed in court records as of Friday, and could not be reached for comment.

Officers were first called to the home of his mother Cathy Kuhn — in the 5900 block of Glenoak Avenue, in the city’s Glenham Belhar neighborhood — about 3:50 p.m. Wednesday after her husband Michael Kuhn came home and found her unresponsive, said Lt. Jarron Jackson, a police spokesman.

At the time, signs of trauma “were not apparent” and officers did not suspect foul play, Jackson said.

Police communicated their observations from the scene to the state medical examiner’s office, which “declined to come out [to the scene] because we didn’t see any obvious signs of trauma,” Jackson said.

The medical examiner’s office could not immediately be reached for comment Friday.

Kuhn’s body was then released to her family, and transported to the Leonard J. Ruck Funeral Home on Harford Road, according to the statement of charges. Staff there discovered “possible signs of trauma” to Kuhn’s head and neck, and “immediately called police,” Jackson said.

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