Rachael DelTondo Murder: Beaver County DA names prime suspect

ALIQUIPPA, Pa. — For the last five years, the biggest question swirling through Aliquippa has been — who killed Rachael DelTondo?

She’s the school teacher who was murdered in her family’s driveway on Mother’s Day 2018.

Her case has never been solved, and it rocked the tight-knit Beaver County community.

>>>Timeline of Rachael DelTondo murder investigation

Now, for the first time, Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier is naming a prime suspect.

“I want to acknowledge that Sheldon Jeter is the prime suspect in the investigation of her death. I have decided that the family of Rachael DelTondo deserves some level of closure,” Lozier told Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca.

Sheldon Jeter was one of Rachael’s students, who she had a relationship with while he was underage.

“I think people will speculate that there were sour feelings. Maybe jealousy. I think we can probably establish stalking. When you look at where he was that night, and he had a pattern of stalking this young lady,” Lozier added.

Rachael had moved on from Jeter, and was at one point engaged to another man, Frank Catroppa. Catroppa was also questioned in her death.

“We spent a lot of time running down all of those crazy leads, crazy conspiracy theories that were floating around in 2018 and 2019. I believe we put all of those to rest,” he said.

Despite Lozier naming Jeter as a suspect, he has not been charged with Rachael’s murder.

“We don’t have the gun. Without an eyewitness, no one has come forward. We have circumstantial evidence putting him around, but I want that one more piece of evidence,” Lozier told Channel 11.

That one more piece of evidence Lozier says he needs — is to put Jeter in Rachael’s driveway.

“We could put Sheldon Jeter all around Aliquippa, and all around the neighborhood at the time. But with the technology I have now, I can’t put him in the presence of the victim,” he added.

Jeter is already sentenced to life in prison for the death of his friend, Tyric Pugh. That case is under appeal.

Jeter’s attorney, Michael Santicola, sat down with us, after hearing his client was named as a suspect in Rachael’s death.

“I’m not surprised. I’ll put it to you that way. I think they could name several suspects. I don’t think they have information to be able to indict anyone. It’s been five years.

He claims he’s seen text messages between Rachael and Jeter, and nothing was ever threatening or violent.

When asked if Jeter maintains his innocence, Santicola said, “Yes, 100% in the DelTondo murder.”

It’s proved to be a difficult case for Lozier’s office, as five years later, they continue to search for that one piece of evidence that could officially close Rachael’s case.

“We have a young lady who was killed, and a community and a family that deserves justice. If we can prove who committed that murder, we are going to do it,” Lozier said.

The DelTondo’s spoke to Channel 11′s Gabriella DeLuca off-camera, and said they want justice for their daughter. They added that Rachael was a good person, with an even better heart.

As for Jeter officially being named the suspect, the couple said they believe he killed their daughter, but also feel there’s a lot of information from the case that has not been released.

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