Former Merchant Marine Academy Student Strangles Mother Over Cleaning and Job Dispute

 Former Merchant Marine Academy Student Strangles Mother Over Cleaning and Job Dispute


A 20-year-old Indiana man, Connor Kobold, has been charged with strangling his mother to death after she asked him to clean his room and find a full-time job. Kobold, a student at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, called 911 five times on February 5, reporting a dead person in his home in Valparaiso, according to court documents, as per Post-Tribune.

When police arrived, Kobold surrendered himself, asking to be handcuffed and placed in the squad car. He allegedly confessed to the crime, stating, “There is a dead person inside of the house on the corner” and “I killed somebody in that house,” reported WGNTV. Officers also noticed superficial scratches on his face.

Upon entering the house, police found his mother, Shanelle Burns, 43, unconscious with “no pulse” and “severe injuries,” including ligature marks on her neck. Ms. Burns, an assistant vice president in advancement at Loyola University in Chicago, was hospitalized but died two days later.

According to court documents, she died of “asphyxiation,” and her death was ruled a homicide by “manual strangulation.” Doctors reported that she had suffered significant brain damage before her death.

Kobold has been charged with her murder. He has pleaded not guilty and is being held without bond at Porter County Jail, with a court appearance scheduled for next month.

During a February hearing, Kobold, who has a history of mental health issues, told a judge that he had been admitted to two facilities and had seen at least five therapists. He attempted to represent himself in court, stating that only he could explain the circumstances surrounding the incident. However, a public defender was appointed to represent him despite his efforts to self-represent.

This tragic case highlights the complex interplay of familial conflict, mental health issues, and violent outcomes, underscoring the importance of addressing mental health and providing support for individuals in distress.

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