Preliminary hearing held for woman accused of double murder
FERNLEY, Nev. – A Sacramento woman accused of killing her niece and niece’s unborn baby in Nevada told detectives she never meant to harm the niece and tried to save the baby’s life.
Erin Kuhn, 31, is accused of killing Kathaleena Draper and surgically removing the 36-week-old fetus in June in a Fernley motel room.
At a preliminary hearing Tuesday in Fernley Justice Court, a homicide detective testified that Kuhn changed her story several times before admitting she was in the motel room when the two died.
Sacramento police Detective Don Parvin said at one time Kuhn claimed blood in the back seat of her car came from an injured dog she picked up along the road.
Parvin said eventually she told investigators she got into a fight with Draper, then Draper was knocked unconscious and couldn’t breathe.
Kuhn told the detective that she panicked and used a knife to remove the baby from Draper’s abdomen, then performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation on the baby for about an hour.
Parvin said Kuhn eventually admitted dumping the baby’s body in the desert near Silver Springs south of Fernley.
He said she wrapped the niece’s body in a shower curtain and drove it back to Sacramento, where she dumped it.
Draper moved from Las Vegas to live with her aunt in Sacramento and Kuhn had planned to adopt the baby, investigators said. The pair reportedly were headed to Las Vegas, to return Draper to her mother’s house.
Investigators say Draper was killed after the teen-ager changed her mind about letting Kuhn adopt her unborn baby.
Kuhn, an emergency room technician, then surgically removed the baby, which later died.
Kuhn was arrested in Sacramento after her niece’s body was discovered along a rural road. She later led authorities to the baby’s body and was extradited to Nevada to face charges.
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