Pregnant Amish ‘scalping’ murder: Pennsylvania cops find broken knife, unidentified hair at scene: warrants

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Pennsylvania State Police recovered a broken knife and two spent shell casings from another rifle and found a 23-year-old pregnant Amish woman dead in her home with her throat cut. . It appears she had her scalp removed, according to court documents.

Police arrested Sean Cranston, 52, over the weekend in the death of Rebecca Byler.

She was six months pregnant when she died.

“The motive behind this heinous crime is exactly what many in our community feared,” family advocate Kelsey Bova said in a statement to Byler’s husband and two other children. wrote a GoFundMe campaign to raise money.

Man arrested in connection with murder of pregnant Amish woman in Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania State Police on Saturday announced the arrest of Sean Cranston, the suspect in the brutal murder of pregnant 23-year-old Rebecca Byler. (Pennsylvania Bureau of Crime Watch)

“The Amish family that once lived at Rebecca and Andy’s address had adopted two ‘Yankee’ children, but have since moved away. We believe this crime was committed by a deranged family member. “We were concerned that the home had been specifically targeted in retaliation for a legal adoption that had taken place” among the adopted children. ”

Andy Byler and another family friend walked into the horrifying scene around noon on February 26th. Police said they found the pregnant victim lying on her back in the living room.

Amish pregnant woman killed with cuts to head and neck in Pennsylvania home: Report

When investigators arrived, they found her throat slit and a “scalping wound” on her head.

Two other children were in the home during the killing, but were not harmed, authorities said.

Read the warrant return

Police found a broken knife handle and a broken knife blade, according to a search warrant returned Tuesday.

They also recovered numerous firearms and ammunition. Contains two used casings of different sizes.

In addition to other evidence, a sample of black hair of unknown origin was also found.

Two Minnesota Amish children are dead.Identical twins swapped places and indicted, complicating case

The suspect, Cranston, is charged with murder, unborn child murder, robbery and trespassing.

He is being held in the Crawford County Jail without bail.

He is scheduled to return to court for a preliminary hearing on March 15.

Rebecca Bylers' home on Fish Flats Road in Sparta Township.

Investigators in the death of Rebecca Byler, a 23-year-old Amish woman in Sparta Township, Crawford County, say her body was found inside her Fish Flats Road home, pictured. He said he had injuries. (Tim Hahn/Erie Times News/USA Today Network)

The killing shocked a rural community in northwestern Pennsylvania. residents say. amishKnown for their modest clothing and limited use of technology, they get along well with their non-Amish neighbors, according to the Associated Press.


“It’s not something that happens around here,” Lindsey Smith, president of the Women’s Auxiliary of the nearby Spartansburg Volunteer Fire Department, said last week.

Fox News’ Christina Coulter and Michael Dorgan contributed to this report.