Police haven't substantiated a newlywed woman's claims that she killed more than 20 people in four US states before the killing she and her husband are now charged with committing, a prosecutor said on Tuesday.
Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini said ethical rules bar him from commenting on the statements by Miranda Barbour, who, along with Elytte Barbour, is awaiting trial in the death of a man they're accused of luring through a Craigslist ad for companionship.
Rosini, who's pursuing the death penalty for the Barbours, said in a prepared statement: “As of this date, there has been no verification of any of the information that has been the subject of media coverage regarding prior acts of the defendant.”
Miranda Barbour, in a Friday prison interview with The Daily Item in Pennsylvania, 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, 19, told the newspaper.
In the current homicide investigation, the Barbours repeatedly changed their accounts of the events leading up to the November 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 about 20 times in her parked car. They said Elytte Barbour held a cord tight against LaFerrara's neck from the back seat and dumped his body in an alley.
Elytte Barbour told investigators the newlyweds killed LaFerrara because they wanted “to murder someone together”, police said.
Defence lawyers are seeking psychiatric evaluations for the Barbours, who have pleaded not guilty.
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.
North Carolina's State Bureau of Investigation “has been in contact with Pennsylvania authorities about this case”, 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”. - Sapa-AP