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Daughter stuffed mother’s body into plastic bags and put them in a closet after strangling her: Cops

Kelli Yingling, inset, is charged with murder after she allegedly strangled her mom, tied her body in plastic bags and stuffed it in a closet at their Hanford, California, home. (Mug shot: Hanford police; Screenshot: KFSN/YouTube)

A 37-year-old California woman allegedly strangled her mother and then stuffed her in plastic bags and locked the body in the closet, according to police.

The victim’s neighbor on May 18 called police in Hanford, which is about 30 miles south of Fresno, to the 900 block of West Encore Drive after she had not seen 67-year-old Peggi Yingling in a couple of weeks which was unusual. Officers made a welfare check and entered the home where they found her body tied up in the bags inside the closet, police said in a press release. Detectives say Yingling had “been deceased for an extended amount of time” and there was evidence she had been murdered.

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    Yingling lived with her daughter, Kelli Yingling. Police say the daughter made statements which “implicated” her in the murder. An autopsy reportedly showed Peggi Yingling died by strangulation.

    Kelli Yingling has been at the King County Jail since May 7 after cops arrested her after she allegedly fled police in a pursuit on May 2. She’s charged with murder, causing injury to an elder adult and evading a police officer with wonton disregard for safety, per jail records. She faces 25 years to life in prison if convicted.

    “So, the victim was 67 years old, and she is the mother of our defendant. The defendant has been previously convicted of elder abuse and was on felony probation for elder abuse at the time that this offense occurred,” said Kings County District Attorney Sarah Hacker, according to Fresno ABC affiliate KFSN.

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    Peggi Yingling also was the victim in that case, local NBC affiliate KMPH reported. According to court records, a judge sentenced her in June 2023 to 240 days in jail and three years of probation after she pled no contest to causing injury to an elder adult and threatening a crime with intent to terrorize. The probation was revoked after her initial arrest for fleeing police earlier this month.

    She has pleaded not guilty. Her attorney expressed doubt about the strength of the case.

    “Very often when we get police reports, we start to see that things are not clear cut as they made it to be; there are a lot of nuances, and people’s memories aren’t what they claim or were initially, so we need to investigate all that,” Carlos Navarrete told KVSN.

    The suspect remains in the King County Jail without bond. Her next court date is scheduled for July 9.

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