Police used cell phone tracking to find woman accused of killing adoptive mother


DENVER — Police looking for a woman accused of killing her adoptive mother in Gypsum tracked the suspect down by pinpointing her cell phone, officials said in a media release Monday.

Traci Cunningham, 28, was arrested Saturday after her mother’s body was found on Gypsum Creek Road, dead of multiple gunshot wounds, Eagle County police said.

Police suspect Cunningham and her mother may have been driving from their home in Aurora to Western Colorado to meet with the younger woman’s partner and her family at the time of the killing, according to an arrest affidavit.

The victim, 60-year-old Penelope Sue Cunningham, was a former nun who taught fourth-grade social studies at Denver’s Maxwell Elementary School.

Her body was discovered Friday morning by a man who had gone to the area to help his own mother, who returned from a snowshoeing trip to find that her car wouldn’t start.

After the body was found, investigators were able to locate the suspect at a Lakewood bagel shop by tracking her cell phone, police said.

Traci Cunningham was being held on $1 million bond on a forthcoming charge of first degree murder, the district attorney in the case said.

A next-door neighbor said “this has just blown everybody away,” but has a hard time believing Traci Cunningham could harm her mother.