By the time her husband came home from work Wednesday and found his wife's body on the living room floor of their Glenoak Avenue home, it was too late to save 63-year old Cathy Kuhn.
"The medics came out. Our officers responded and, unfortunately, she was pronounced deceased,” said Lt. Jarron Jackson of the Baltimore City Police Department, “At that point, our officers contacted the Medical Examiner's Office to describe the events that had happened. The Medical Examiner's Office declined to come out, which is common. When we don't see signs of trauma. We don't see any indications of foul play. We don't have witnesses telling us there was foul play. It's common for that to happen."
Police turned the body over to the Ruck Funeral Home on Harford Road where the staff made a rather uncommon discovery---possible ligature marks around her throat and trauma to her head.
Suddenly, an otherwise routine death inquiry turned into a homicide investigation, and Kuhn's 32-year old son, Erich, surfaced as a prime suspect.
"Detectives began speaking to witnesses and gathering information, which led them ultimately and unfortunately to the son of the victim. During an interview, he provided a complete confession as to how he murdered his mother and why he murdered his mother."
According to charging documents, Kuhn struck his mother with his bare hands and then strangled her, apparently with a telephone cord.
He estimated it took seven minutes until she stopped gurgling.
Police won't disclose Kuhn's motive for murdering his mother at this point, and they're still trying to explain how the funeral home could spot signs of foul play on her body, which their own officers could not.
"During that time from the initial call to the funeral home process, the remains actually change,” said Jackson, “Sometimes bruises appear that are initially not there, and the decomposition process starts."
Michael ruck, Sr. of the Ruck Funeral Home told us in his 46 years in the business, he can count on one hand, the number of times his staff has uncovered evidence of a murder, which had gone undetected by police.
He adds a very, thorough examination of a body must be conducted before the embalming process, and that's when workers caught this one.
— Baltimore Police (@BaltimorePolice) March 10, 2017