ONLY ON 11: Homicide detectives in Uber driver murder talk abundance of evidence that led to arrest

MONROEVILLE, Pa. — Only Channel 11 sat down with three Allegheny County homicide detectives who were assigned to Christina Spicuzza’s death investigation.

According to the detectives, the amount of evidence they had in her case was “key” in solving her murder.

Spicuzza’s body was found in a wooded area of Monroeville. She was a mother of four children and was an Uber driver.

Spicuzza had one gunshot wound to her head and was wearing a face mask.

“In my mind, if someone is still wearing their COVID mask, they’re around people they’re not comfortable with. That definitely gave us a direction to think and look,” Detective Greg Renko told Channel 11.

Spicuzza didn’t have any identification on her, not even a cellphone. Through her tattoos, homicide detectives were able to determine she was the woman whose fiance reported her missing two nights earlier.

The night she went missing, she was working as an Uber driver.

“It’s a woman found in the woods, we don’t have much going for us right then,” Detective Kevin McCue said.

Also, detectives were already behind because two days had passed between when she disappeared to when she was found.

“They always say ‘the first 48.’ If you get [the case] in the first 48, you get a good lead, nine out of 10 times, we can solve it,” McCue added.

That wasn’t the case here, but homicide detectives were getting closer.

Spicuzza’s car showed up parked in Pitcairn, but two items were still missing. Her cellphone and a dashcam that her fiance bought her were nowhere to be found.

Then came the first of two big breaks. A man randomly found a cellphone in Braddock and turned it in to police.

It turns out, it was Spicuzza’s phone.

“Some people don’t think something that small could break the case open, but it did. It really helped us, and we finally got where Christina was, and the route she had taken on her phone,” McCue said.

Because she had her location services activated on her cellphone, detectives could see where she went that night. They also could see that her last drop off request was to an abandoned house in the East Hills. Plus, through Uber and cellphone records, detectives were able to eventually trace her passenger to a man named Calvin Crew.

“You get that little break, and you pep up a little more, and you want to keep going,” McCue added.

Then, the next break. After detectives canvassed the area of the abandoned home multiple times, they found the dashcam from Spicuzza’s car.

“We found what we were looking for, for days. We found the evidence that was so crucial for Christina, and to get Calvin Crew,” Renko said.

However, watching what was on that video — Spicuzza begging for her life and saying she’s a mom of four kids — is something the homicide detectives will likely never forget.

“Unfortunately, we know the outcome. We’re seeing it. You know she tried. She tried to reason with him, and plead to his humanity. It’s heartbreaking to know what the outcome is,” Detective Laurie McKeel said.

After days of barely seeing their own families, chasing down every lead, and sifting through every piece of evidence, a week after Spicuzza disappeared, detectives finally had Calvin Crew in handcuffs.

“We got back, and it was a downpour. I’ll never forget that. It was a straight downpour. We got back, and got the wet jackets off, and the three of us, had that sigh of relief moment,” Renko added.