Man charged with killing mom, stashing her body in motel room


Charles Cole

Ronalda Cole

PLEASANT VALLEY – State Police have charged a Pleasant Valley man
with killing his mother and then keeping her body in the motel room he
shared with his wife and mother for seven weeks before traveling to South
Carolina where he dumped her remains in a wooded area.

Charles Cole, 48, has been charged with murder in the death of Betty Cole,
76, whose body was recovered on October 17 in a secluded area not far
from Interstate 95 in the Town of Lodge, South Carolina.

It is alleged that Cole strangled his mother, Betty Cole, and stored her
body in their Pleasant Valley Motel room before traveling south and dumping
her remains.

Cole was located Friday at a homeless service provider in Poughkeepsie,
charged with murder and remanded to the Dutchess County Jail without bail.

Cole’s wife, Ronalda, was arrested on October 18 and charged with
tampering with physical evidence as a felony for assisting her husband
with transporting and disposing of Betty Cole’s body. Ronalda Cole
was remanded to the Dutchess County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail.

“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 seven weeks and to then travel several states away to dump her body
like trash, makes this a particularly disturbing and unusual case,”
said BCI Capt. John Ryan.

State Police worked jointly with the Dutchess District Attorney’s
Office and were assisted by the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office
in South Carolina.


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