Daughter Charged After Mom Found Dead In Closet, Wrapped In Plastic

A 37-year-old woman in California was charged Tuesday in connection with the death of her mother after authorities found a body wrapped in a plastic bag inside a closet of their home, the Hanford Police Department announced.

Kelli Elizabeth Yingling pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to killing her mother, Peggi Yingling, 67, who’s body was discovered after a neighbor who had not seen Peggi Yingling in weeks asked police to conduct a welfare check, ABC affiliate KFSN-TV in Fresno reported.

“The defendant has been previously convicted of elder abuse and was on felony probation for elder abuse at the time that this offense occurred,” Kings County District Attorney Sarah Hacker said in court, according to KFSN.

Hacker confirmed in an email to HuffPost that Yingling is facing charges of murder in the first degree and elder abuse in connection with her mother’s death.

Carlos Navarrete, her attorney, told KFSN that his client is innocent until proved guilty.

“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,” Navarrete said.

Authorities were conducting a welfare check at the victim’s home in Hanford, a small city in the San Joaquin Valley, on May 18. They located the deceased woman inside a locked closet, according to the press release. Police said the victim had been dead “for an extended amount of time.”

An autopsy revealed signs that the Yingling had been strangled, the Hanford Police Department’s press release said.

Authorities claimed that Kelli Yingling’s interview with detectives had “implicated her in the murder.”

Residents living in the Yinglings’ neighborhood described it to KFSN as quiet, despite police making an appearance at the victim’s home in the past.

Gabriel Virrueta, who lives near the home, described Peggi Yingling as “very introverted” and told KFSN that she would occasionally ask “neighbors for help and ride to the store and ride to the doctor’s office.”

Kelli Yingling had been in custody at King County Jail since May 7, before the body was discovered. She was jailed in connection with a police pursuit on May 2, authorities said in the press release.

Kelli Yingling had been convicted of elder abuse in 2023 in a case also involving her mother, according to KMPH-TV in Visalia, California.

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