Daughter accused of murdering teacher formally charged with murder, evidence tampering

EAGLE, Colo. - Formal murder and evidence tampering charges now face the Aurora woman accused of killing her mother, a teacher at Maxwell Elementary School in Montbello.

The charges were filed Tuesday in Eagle County against Traci Cunningham, 28. She is accused of shooting her mother, 60-year-old Penelope "Penny" Sue Cunningham, on Nov. 29.

Cunningham's body was found about 15 miles up Gypsum Creek Road, a remote area outside of Gypsum, about 9 a.m. Friday.  The body -- found by a passerby on the road -- appeared to have multiple gunshot wounds, the sheriff's office said.

Gypsum is about 10 miles west of Eagle, the county seat.

Penelope Cunningham was a former nun who had adopted Traci Cunningham and the two still lived together.

Jill Sarmo, spokeswoman for the district attorney in the Fifth Judicial District, said three counts were filed against Traci Cunningham Tuesday. They are first-degree murder after deliberation, first-degree murder with extreme indifference and tampering with physical evidence. The specific type of evidence tampering is called "effort to destroy."

Traci Cunningham is being held on $1 million bond and is due to appear in court at 3 p.m. Wednesday.

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