PENN HILLS, Pa. — Allegheny County police have arrested a man they say killed his estranged wife two years ago in Penn Hills.
Antonio Vecchiola, 34, has been charged with criminal homicide.
Jessica Vecchiola was found dead in her home Feb. 6, 2017.
"You spend so much time thinking about your whole life and all of the times you had and all of the times that will be missed. It just really feels good to begin to close the chapter on that now," said Jessica's sister Felicia Lucot.
Lucot has been thinking about this day for two and a half years, waiting for police to arrest the man she believed was responsible for killing her sister.
"I think that we are overjoyed. It's very relieving to finally know the person responsible is not just walking around living their life anymore," Lucot.
Police learned there were suspicious circumstances surrounding Jessica's death, and for the past two years, they have investigated.
Originally, the medical examiner ruled Jessica's death as a serious spinal cord injury. She had been internally decapitated.
Days before her death, Jessica's mother said she was attacked in a road rage incident that put her in a neck brace.
In the criminal complaint, police say, "Jessica contacted her [mother] and informed that she had been assaulted by two unknown women. During the incident, she stated the females demanded that she leave ‘Tony’ alone.
When Jessica died, her manner of death was listed as pending. In January of this year, the death was ruled a homicide.
"It's hard to lose someone and it's really hard to lose someone and have it just drag out for all of this time because you don't have answers, you don't know what happened and the person responsible who did it is not being held responsible yet," Lucot said.
After presenting evidence to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office, an arrest warrant was issued Thursday for Antonio.
He was arrested at a strip mall in Monroeville and taken to the Allegheny County Jail, where he is to be arraigned for criminal homicide.
According to the criminal complaint, Jessica and Antonio were planning to meet up the night she died, but investigators say he made it sound like he hadn't heard from her.
Police searched his cellphone records, and they implied that messages about their meetup were manually deleted, according to police. Plus, his cellphone pinged a tower near her home.
The next day, Jessica's mother found her dead inside her home.
Antonio is being held in the Allegheny County Jail without bond.
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