Police can't verify Pa. wife's killing claims
HARRISBURG — Police have yet to substantiate a 19-year-old woman's claim that she killed more than 20 people in four states before the Pennsylvania murder she is now charged with committing.
Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini said in a statement Tuesday “there has been no verification of any of the information that has been the subject of media coverage” in the case of Miranda Barbour, who with husband Elytte Barbour is awaiting trial in the death of a man they're accused of luring through a Craigslist ad for companionship.
Miranda Barbour, in a Friday prison interview with The Daily Item in Sunbury, claimed to have killed at least 22 people in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California in the past six years as part of her involvement in a satanic cult.
“I just want to get it out,” Barbour told the newspaper.
Rosini, who's pursuing the death penalty for the Barbours, said ethical rules bar him from commenting on Miranda Barbour's statements.
In the Sunbury homicide investigation, the Barbours repeatedly changed their accounts of the events leading up to the Nov. 11 death of Troy LaFerrara, who police say met up with Miranda Barbour for companionship in exchange for money.
Ultimately, police said, Miranda Barbour stabbed LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton, about 20 times in her parked car. They said Elytte Barbour held a cord tight against LaFerrara's neck from the back seat and then dumped his body in an alley.
Miranda Barbour initially denied knowing LaFerrara but changed her story when police gathered evidence including records that showed the last call to his cellphone came from hers, authorities said.
The couple, who married about three weeks before the killing, also initially told police that Miranda Barbour had acted alone and stabbed LaFerrara in self-defense, authorities said. A few days after her arrest, Elytte Barbour, 22, admitted his involvement after police obtained surveillance recordings that showed him getting out of her car on the night of the killing and buying supplies to clean it, they said.
Elytte Barbour told investigators the newlyweds killed LaFerrara because they wanted “to murder someone together,” police said.
Defense lawyers are seeking psychiatric evaluations for the Barbours, who have pleaded not guilty.
Miranda Barbour's mother, Elizabeth Dean, said in an off-camera interview Tuesday with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., that she couldn't imagine her committing the previous killings. Dean, of Cary, N.C., said she and her daughter had moved from Alaska to North Carolina in 2012 to get a fresh start.
Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo has said investigators are aware of Miranda Barbour's claims about killings in other states and were contacting police in those jurisdictions.
Neither Pennsylvania state police nor the Pennsylvania attorney general's office is involved in the investigation, spokesmen said Tuesday.
North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation “has been in contact with Pennsylvania authorities about this case” and remains in contact “to determine if there is any credible information related to any unsolved homicide in North Carolina,” spokeswoman Noelle Talley said.
In Alaska, state troopers said they were “not aware of any information, beyond Barbour's comments quoted in the press, or evidence that would implicate Barbour with a homicide committed in Alaska.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Innovation enhances Philadelphia’s history as Democrats convene, Pope Francis visits
- Supreme Court ruling on threats may affect Connecticut case
- Donora-Webster bridge plunges into Mon River after 107 years
- Pa. could ease restrictions on fireworks, reaping big bang in taxes
- Jailed Philadelphia priest could get papal visit
- 2 from Western Pennsylvania charged with insurance fraud
- ‘We are’ chant now a permanent fixture on Penn State campus
- Pa. spared earthquakes from deep-shale drilling
- Presque Isle Downs cancels thoroughbred races because of running deer
- New trial sought in 1977 Washington County murder case
- FBI questions Allentown mayor, seizes contract documents