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Woman with autism dies, 2 indicted for ‘inadequate guardianship’

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TOWN OF CHENANGO (WBNG) -- On Oct. 26, the Broome County Sheriff's Office says two people were indicted following an investigation into the death of 23-year-old Kayla Kunkel, who lived with autism.

56-year-old Renee Kunkel and 61-year-old Edward Kunkel were indicted in the following charges:

  • Manslaughter in the second degree, a class C felony
  • Endangering the welfare of an incompetent or physically disabled person in the 1st degree, a class A felony
  • Two counts of endangering the welfare of a child, a class A misdemeanor

On June 29, 2019, the sheriff's office says deputies and EMS responded to 40 Theresa Blvd. in the town of Chenango for a person who was not breathing. They found Kayla Kunkel and CPR was performed on her.

Kayla was taken to Wilson Hospital where she died.

The sheriff's office says its investigation determined Kayla was not capable of caring for herself and her death was the result of "inadequate guardianship."

Authorities noted two children were also found in the residence. They say the two children were living in unsafe and "grossly" unsanitary living conditions.

More information about the children was not released.

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