Whitehall woman's handyman charged with homicide after her disappearance

Whitehall woman's handyman charged with homicide after her disappearance

WHITEHALL BOROUGH, Pa. — A handyman was charged with criminal homicide Thursday, months after a Whitehall woman's disappearance, even though her body has not been located.

Douglas Berry worked as a handyman for Elizabeth Wiesenfeld, who vanished from her home on April 30.

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Relatives reported 67-year-old Wiesenfeld missing after she failed to show up at work.

Using surveillance cameras, license plate readers and cellphone towers, investigators tracked most of Barry's movements on the day in question.

Someone wearing a coat and a mask was captured using Wiesenfeld's bank card at an ATM. Police discovered a coat and a mask during a search of Berry's truck and home, investigators said.

Police searched her home and found blood in her bed and some items missing.

"If you have one piece of evidence, OK. But when you have hundreds of pieces of evidence, that's a different story," said Allegheny District Attorney Stephen Zappala.

Berry had been previously named a person of interest in her disappearance. He was arrested on an unrelated gun charge in May.

<p>Douglas Berry</p>

Douglas Berry

Barry worked as Wiesenfeld's handyman on several properties she owned.

"He was there looking for money. Did he intend to hurt her much less take her life? I don't know that," Zappala said.

According to the criminal complaint, a fellow inmate in the Allegheny County Jail spoke to Barry about the case in July. That witness told investigators: "Berry explained to (the witness) that it was imperative that he get out because he had to move a body. (The witness) noted that Berry kept saying he had to ‘get rid of it',"

Investigators also found evidence of Berry buying four cans of sulfuric acid the day after Wiesenfeld disappeared, possibly to help dispose of a body. However, the cans were never used.

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