San Diego man's mother killed in Caribbean murder mystery

Posted at 4:38 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 21:15:27-04

SOLANA BEACH, Calif. (KGTV) — A local man is hoping for answers after his mother was found murdered during a girl's trip to Turks and Caicos.

Marie Kuhnla, 62, set off on the trip to a Club Med resort with her two friends and fellow public defenders in New York.

Rick Kuhnla Jr. told 10news his mother was excited about the trip and recalls pestering his her to take her sunscreen because she got sunburn on a previous trip.

Her friends say a few days into their trip on October 14, Marie went to her room to take nap and wasn't heard from again.

Her body was discovered in bushes on the edge of the resort days later. Police told her friends she had been strangled. It's difficult for her son to talk about the phone call he received about her death.
"It was horrible. Prefer not to go into it right now," said Kuhnla Jr. What he would like to talk about is his mother's zest for life.

"She was an amazing person. She was warm, caring and compassionate, and I'm fortunate to be her son," said Kuhnla Jr.

A frequent visitor, she purchased a condo in the area and was planning on retiring here in a few years.

"She just loved the outdoor environment and the natural beauty of San Diego," said Kuhnla Jr.

Marie's brother, Peter Chetuck, told 10News the family is frustrated by the lack of answers.

"We want for her of all people, in her trade as a lawyer, justice," said Chetuck.