• Second search warrant in teacher's murder case provides details on evidence, witness testimony

    Updated:

    ALIQUIPPA, Pa. - Former teacher Rachael DelTondo was shot to death in her mother's driveway in Aliquippa the night of Sunday, May 13. No arrests have been made.

     

    NIGHT OF THE MURDER

    Former teacher Rachael DelTondo, 32, was shot to death in her mother’s driveway late Sunday night in Aliquippa, police said.

    Family members said she was coming home from getting ice cream with a friend when she was shot.

    Police were called about 10:30 p.m. to the scene on Buchanan Drive. They said DelTondo was shot at least 10 times. 

    WPXI news reporter Amy Marcinkiewicz is talking with investigators and following the developments in the investigation for Channel 11 News beginning at 5 p.m. 

    >>>Woman shot, killed in mother’s driveway; police working to determine motive

    The Beaver County coroner confirmed DelTondo died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk and her death is being ruled a homicide. 

    Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier said police do not have any suspects and have not determined a motive.

    Aliquippa police, Beaver County police and state police are all investigating. 

    ABOUT RACHAEL DELTONDO

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    Rachael DelTondo was coming home from getting ice cream with a friend when she was shot 10 times in her mother's Aliquippa driveway.

    >>>5 things we know about the Aliquippa woman shot, killed in her mother's driveway

    The 32-year-old was a former teacher for the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. 

    DelTondo was on paid suspension after being found with an underage boy in a parked car in 2016.

    Sources say they are looking at her murder as an act of passion or jealousy. 

     

    2016 INCIDENT

    Until last fall, DelTondo was a teacher for the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School. She was suspended after the mother of a former Aliquippa High School student spoke to 11 Investigates about an incident involving her underage son.

    A police incident report said officers found DelTondo and the boy in a parked car near the old Aliquippa Community Hospital around 2 a.m.

    >>>Mother: I wasn't told police investigated son's interaction with teacher

    DelTondo, who had been engaged at the time, was never charged in the incident, so Channel 11 never reported her name, but the school suspended her after contacting ChildLine. 

     

    SEARCH WARRANT FOR SHELDON JETER JR.

    Channel 11 obtained a search warrant filed in the investigation.

    The search warrant is for a cellphone belonging to a friend of DelTondo, Sheldon Jeter Jr., who police believe communicated with the group she was with minutes before the shooting.

    Jeter Jr. who is now 20, is known to police as the teenager who was found in a car with Rachael DelTondo when he was 17.

    Attorney Mike Santicola sat down with Channel 11 to defend his client, Jeter Jr. 

    "He’s a good kid Sheldon was put in a difficult situation over the holidays drawn into this thing that probably should have been nipped in the bud in 2016," Santicola said.

    Santicola said the two continued their relationship -- calling and texting frequently.

    >>>Mother: I wasn't told police investigated son's interaction with teacher

    According to police paperwork, Hanks Custard in New Brighton is the last place DelTondo was before she headed home. While she was there, the search warrant stated she received a text message from Jeter Jr.

    Police believe he knew where she was because she was with a group of people including Jeter Jr's older half brother.

    The search warrant details messages between the siblings:

    Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “is yal there already”

    Tyrie Jeter: “Yea”

    Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “I got left huh (six smiley face emojis)

    Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “Who all you with”

    Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “??”

    Sheldon Jeter Jr.: “Hanks closed”

    According to the search warrant, when questioned by police, Jeter Jr. showed no emotion when he heard DelTondo was murdered.

    Santicola said DelTondo confided in Jeter Jr. and told him she was working with outside agencies looking into police corruption. 

    "We find it far from a coincidence that she was murdered within days of having to testify," Santicola said.

    Aliquippa police would not confirm this information.

    >>>5 things we know about the Aliquippa woman shot, killed in her mother's driveway

    Pittsburgh attorney Blaine Jones told Channel 11 he was retained by DelTondo, but would not say for what.

    Santicola said he's speaking out now that officers have seized his client's cellphone and clothing, trying to tie him to this crime. 

    No charges have been filed in the murder investigation at this point. 

     

    SECOND SEARCH WARRANT FOR JETER JR.

    Channel 11 obtained a copy of the second search warrant filed in the case.

    The search warrant led Aliquippa police to the home of Jeter Jr. on Thursday night.

    According to the search warrant, the items police were looking for were a 9 mm gun, any additional firearms, ammunition, a hoodie, bloodstained clothing, written correspondence about or to DelTondo, notebooks, cellphones and computers. 

    Officers found no weapons or ammo -- only a few notebooks.

    The search warrant, however, said Jeter Jr. voluntarily handed over clothing to police he had been wearing on the day of the murder.

    The police paperwork, however, states that surveillance detectives obtained of Jeter Jr. on May 13 shows he was in different clothing including a gray hoodie.

    Channel 11 talked with the Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier on Friday but he would not give specifics.

    "We have not named suspect or specific person of interest. We would see that with a criminal complaint. We are executing search warrants for telephones for people, places and things," Lozier said.

    According to the search warrant, police also interviewed one of Jeter Jr.'s brothers who, according to police paperwork, told them he was in a relationship with DelTondo and that she had confided in him that she was feeling scared and believed that she was being followed. 

    The brother detailed an incident three months ago when he was with DelTondo, telling detectives that Jeter Jr. had shown up, gotten out of his car, approached DelTondo and said, "If my brother wasn't here, I would (blank) you up," according to police paperwork. 

    Lozier said Jeter Jr. is just one of many people being interviewed. He has not named any suspects or given a motive for the murder.

     

    OFFICER OFF THE CASE

    Channel 11 confirmed an Aliquippa officer is being taken off of the case because his daughter was with DelTondo when she was shot at close range in her mother's driveway.

    We're told the officer is on leave because of his daughter's critical role in the investigation as an eyewitness, not because of anything the officer did.

    The officer is one of the two officers who found DelTondo in a car with an underage teen in 2016. No charges were filed in that case.

     

    EX-FIANCE HAS 'NOTHING TO HIDE'

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    Frank Catroppa and DelTondo ended an eight-year romance, including an engagement, more than a year ago. 

    Catroppa told Channel 11 he voluntarily went to police for questioning but has nothing to do with her murder.

    >>>Ex-fiance of Aliquippa woman killed in driveway says he has 'nothing to hide'

    "She was a good girl. She had a big heart. Definitely don't understand why or how someone could do something like this to her," Catroppa said.

    Catroppa said he was with his current girlfriend the night of the murder.


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