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I open an SSH tunnel (for port forwarding) from Windows 10 PC to a remote Linux server by typing the following command in Windows Command Prompt:

(Note: substitute the actual DNS for host_IPv4_public_DNS)

C:> ssh -i thekey.pem -N -f -L 8888:localhost:8888 host_IPv4_public_DNS

After executing this command the tunnel opens, it is fully functional. The issue is that I don't get the windows command prompt (C:>) back. The process keeps running. How do I terminate this process/tunnel?

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    The same command on Unix/Linux would fork after auth and give back a command prompt. But you are using Windows. – A.B Mar 3 at 16:39
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Remove the -N from your command that is telling ssh not to execute a command

 -N      Do not execute a remote command.  This is useful for just forwarding ports.

ssh -i thekey.pem -f -L 8888:localhost:8888 host_IPv4_public_DNS

Would be your command now if you want to have access to the remote host if you want access to your host cmd. I would run

start /b ssh -i thekey.pem -f -L 8888:localhost:8888 host_IPv4_public_DNS

That will open the connection in the background you can kill the process after using CTRL + BREAK

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