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Man accused of killing mom, keeping body in motel for weeks

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Ronalda Cole, (left) and Charles Cole. (New York state police)

Ronalda Cole, (left) and Charles Cole. (New York state police)

PLEASANT VALLEY, N.Y. — A man has been accused of strangling his mother, stashing her body in a motel room for nearly two months and then dumping it in South Carolina.

New York state police arrested Charles R. Cole, 48, on Friday.

According to police, Cole strangled his 76-year-old mother, Betty Cole, on Aug. 16 at the Pleasant Valley Motel.

“I find it hard to imagine circumstances that could lead to a son strangling his mother, but to also live with her body in a motel room for 7 weeks and to then travel several states away to dump her body like trash, makes this a particularly disturbing and unusual case,” said Captain John J. Ryan of the Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Police say Charles Cole lived in Pleasant Valley and kept his mother’s body in the motel for seven weeks. They say he then drove it to Lodge, South Carolina, and left it in a secluded area near Interstate 95.

Cole was found Friday at a homeless service provider in Poughkeepsie. He was arraigned on a murder charge and remanded to Dutchess County Jail without bail.

His wife Ronalda Cole was arrested on Oct. 18 and charged with tampering with physical evidence for assisting her husband in the disposal of Betty Cole’s body. She was arraigned and remanded to Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $10,000 bail.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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