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Aurora Woman Accused Of Murdering Her Mother

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Traci Cunningham (credit: Facebook)

Traci Cunningham (credit: Facebook)

EAGLE, Colo. (CBS4/AP) — The Eagle County Sheriff’s Office has arrested the daughter of a 60-year-old woman was found shot to death near Gypsum.

Sheriff’s spokeswoman Jessie Mosher says the body of Penelope Sue Cunningham, 60, of Aurora, was found 15 miles up Gypsum Creek Road at about 9 a.m. Friday. Cunningham had been shot multiple times.

Penelope Sue Cunningham (credit: Denver Public Schools)

Penelope Sue Cunningham (credit: Denver Public Schools)

Mosher says 28-year-old Traci Cunningham, also of Aurora, was arrested Saturday and is being held without bail at the Eagle County jail on a charge of first-degree murder.

Penelope Sue Cunningham was a Denver teacher at Maxwell Elementary School and former nun.

Neighbors saw police break through the family’s door late Friday night but had no idea why. Neighbor Carol Lesman says Penelope always talked about how much she loved her adopted daughter, Traci. Lesman said she cried when another neighbor, Meredith Mills, told her Penelope’s body had been found.

Mills says it’s a shock to everyone.

“Nobody has ever heard these two fight, never heard a cross word between these two,” Mills said. “Traci has always said loving things about her mother.”

Lesman and Mills say Traci suffered from mental health issues and that she was open about being bipolar. Traci recently told them she was having trouble getting her medication.

“If she was unstable with her meds, if she did do something, it would be something she would do in a manic mode, out of control mode,” Lesman said.

Neighbors say they haven’t seen Traci and Penelope at the house the last couple of days. They say Penelope rarely left home but for work and had no idea what the family’s connection to Gypsum might be.

A spokeswoman with Denver Public Schools said the Maxwell Elementary principal will be sending out letters to students’ families informing them about what happened to the fourth grade teacher.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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