Daughter killed 69-year-old mother, then herself


Investigators have determined that two women found dead Monday in Novato and San Francisco as part of an apparent murder-suicide were mother and daughter, police said Tuesday night.

At 1:52 a.m. Monday 33-year-old Hollis Puccinelli of Vallejo reported to Novato police that she suspected her mother, 69-year-old Judith Dunaway, of abusing Puccinelli’s 3-year-old daughter.

A Novato police officer attempted to get more information from Puccinelli, but she was uncooperative. The officer asked Vallejo police to respond to Puccinelli’s residence, but she left prior to their arrival, according to Novato police.

Investigators believe Puccinelli went to Dunaway’s home between 5 a.m. and 5:30 a.m., where an altercation ensued.

Shortly before 6 a.m., Novato police received a phone call from one of Dunaway’s relatives requesting a welfare check in the 300 block of Silvio Lane.

Responding officers found what appeared to be blood on the exterior of the residence. After making entry officers discovered Dunaway on the living-room floor. She was pronounced dead at the scene, according to police.

Puccinelli’s vehicle was found in San Francisco, parked near 45th Avenue and Wawona Street. Police say they found her inside with a self-inflicted injury to the neck.

Puccinelli was transported to a hospital where she was pronounced dead, according to police.

Forensic examinations were performed on both bodies today, and the Marin County coroner’s office will determine the official cause of death, police said.

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