Wake County News

Wake County man left mom to die after fall down stairs, warrants say

CARY, N.C. (WNCN) - A Wake County man knowingly left his mom to die at the bottom of a flight of stairs in February, warrants say.

On Feb, 19, the Wake County Sheriff's Office was called to Eric Brunner's home on Marksman Way near Cary after a report of a deceased person was made.

RELATED: Cary man charged with killing his mother, warrants say

The body of Cynthia Brunner, Eric's mother, was found partially clothed at the bottom of a set of stairs at the home, warrants say. The home was described in warrants as being cluttered and that the residents were described as hoarders. Neighbors say the mother and son lived there for more than 20 years. 

During interviews with Eric Brunner, he said his mother fell down the stairs more than 24 hours before he called authorities and he made no effort to help her.

He also admitted to walking by his mother's body several times before he called for help, warrants show.

He also revealed his mother attempted to communicate with him after she fell and he told investigators he knew his mother would die if he didn't help her, warrants say.

Eric Brunner admitted he and his mother had a "tenuous relationship" and that she had a large amount of money in the bank he would have access to after the death, warrants say.

Neighbors say mother and son both kept to themselves.  Scott Braswell moved next door about six months ago and said he never saw Cynthia Brunner, but was sad to hear of her death.

 “I feel bad for her I really do.  I really do,” he said.  He said Eric Brunner never spoke to him.

“Never interacted. He wouldn't look at you when he passed you;  he wouldn't even look up.”

Other neighbors didn’t know Eric Brunner well either, but say he has a degree in aerospace engineering and a Linkedin page shows he graduated from North Carolina State University in 2002. 

Warrants show investigators seized Eric Brunner's computers to see if he made searches related his mother's death.

Brunner, 39, faces a charge of abuse of a disabled or elderly person inflicting serious injury, along with the second-degree murder charge, warrants say.

He's being held under a $1 million bond.


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