NewsCrime Watch


Slain Pennsylvania teacher was “deathly afraid of police”

Posted at 9:38 AM, May 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-16 11:38:44-04

The mystery of who gunned down a Pennsylvania teacher in the driveway of her parents’ home remains unsolved more than a year after she was killed. There are multiple leads in the death of 33-year-old Rachael DelTondo but no arrests have been made and many are blaming the lack of an arrest on an underfunded and understaffed police department.

Just over a year ago, on Mother’s Day, DelTondo was shot several times at close range just outside her home. Her father Joe Deltondo was asleep by the side door when he heard the shots, reports “48 Hours” correspondent Erin Moriarty.

Rachael’s death is the ninth unsolved murder in the city of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, although there appear to be plenty of avenues for police to investigate, starting with 21-year-old Sheldon Jeter, who Rachael’s mother Lisa said was obsessed and in love with her daughter.

“I think it’s fair to say that he is a suspect,” said Jeter’s attorney. “But there is a cast of characters that all could be considered suspects … I would say her fiancé is a possible suspect.”

Frank Catroppa is Rachael’s ex-fiancé. Asked why people would think he was involved in her death, Catroppa said, “Well, maybe just, you know, we had a long relationship.”

Rachael’s mother told “48 Hours” her daughter had told her a “long time ago” that her ex-fiancé “was gonna kill her.” Catroppa vehemently denies having anything to do with her death.

Rachael also told her parents that she was cooperating in an ongoing investigation by state police, into alleged corruption in the Aliquippa Police Department and that she had received death threats.

“She was afraid of the police. Deathly afraid of police,” Lisa DelTondo said. “She said, ‘They’re following me, mom. They’re following me.'”

Joe Perciavalle was assistant chief of police when Rachael was murdered.

“Do you think that anyone in the police department was involved in any way in Rachael’s death?” Moriarty asked.

“You just never know,” Perciavelle said. “Aliquippa is a small community with New York problems.”

Watch Erin Moriarty’s full “48 Hours” report, “What Happened to Rachael?” Saturday at 10 p.m. ET / 9 p.m. CT CBS.