Crystal Kohler, 38, has been arrested for first-degree murder and grand theft auto after allegedly confessing to killing her mother, Carmelina Kohler

By Harriet Sokmensuer
March 12, 2020 12:14 PM
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A Florida woman is charged with murder after she allegedly confessed to killing her mother and hiding her body under blankets in the family’s garage.

Crystal Kohler, 38, has been arrested for first-degree murder and grand theft auto after allegedly confessing to killing her mother, Carmelina Kohler, after an argument, WPTV, TCPalm and WFLX report.

Carmelina Kohler, 81, was reported missing by her family Monday night. Carmelina’s husband told police he became worried about his wife when Crystal came home at 1:30 p.m. when she was supposed to be at a nail salon appointment with her mother at 2 p.m, according to an arrest report.

Crystal allegedly told her father she had come home to change her clothes because Carmelina told her she “looked like a bum,” the report states.

After changing clothes she left, allegedly taking her mother’s minivan.

At around 8 p.m., Carmelina’s husband received a call stating that someone had found his wife’s cell phone. An hour later, he reported his wife missing and the minivan stolen.

During their search for Carmelina, investigators spoke with Crystal’s ex-boyfriend, who said she had been at his home earlier that night. She appeared distraught, he said, and allegedly told him “the less he knew, the better,” the report states.

The ex told police he had given Crystal $120 because she was being kicked out of her home and was planning on taking a Greyhound to Tennessee. But police eventually learned that Crystal was hiding on her ex-boyfriend’s boat in Fort Pierce Marina.

Crystal Kohler
Indian River County Sheriff's Office

During police questioning, she became upset and requested an attorney. She was then charged with grand theft auto.

On Tuesday morning, Crystal agreed to speak with investigators. She allegedly revealed that her mother was dead and that she had hidden her body in the family’s garage. She allegedly told investigators she was “helping her mother move boxes out of the garage when her mother made a comment that sent Crystal into a rage,” the arrest report states.

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She allegedly said the pair fought for several minutes before her mother died and that she had used a blanket to hide the body.

Carmelina’s body had multiple stab wounds to the neck and torso.

It is unclear whether Crystal has entered a plea or retained an attorney as of Thursday. She remains behind bars in Indian River County jail.