New developments in Rachael DelTondo’s case led the Aliquippa Police Department to issue a search warrant for Sgt. Kenneth Watkins’ wife, Stephanie Watkins’ Facebook account.
Rachael DelTondo, 33, was shot multiple times at point-blank range in her mother’s driveway on May 13, 2018. Investigators have been searching for a suspect and motive behind the chilling murder.
Rachael DelTondo: Victim of a Crime of Passion?
The former teacher was first suspected to have been a victim of information leak. Now, authorities believe her murder may have been a crime of passion.
DelTondo was approached by officials in 2016, after being spotted in a car with a 17-year-old boy in front of an old hospital.
At the time, she was a teacher at PA Cyber in Pennsylvania. DelTondo assured police that she and the teen were “just talking.” Despite her claims, she asked officers not to tell her then-fiancé what they saw.
She was suspended from her job in the fall of 2017, after her encounter with the teenager became known to school officials, but no charges were filed. The school was notified of the incident in the same way the media was; an anonymous email that included the police report.
DelTondo was believed to have been living in fear after the police caught her with the boy. Since the media learned of her suspension, the former teacher reportedly received death threads. Her mother, Lisa DelTondo blames the police department for failing to keep her daughter safe, “She was afraid of the Aliquippa police. We knew it was dirty. That police department has been dirty for 50 years.”
48-Year-Old Stephanie Watkins’ Private Messages Searched
Now, police have found a connection between Sgt. Kenneth Watkins’ wife, Stephanie and Rachael DelTondo, as her teenage daughter, Lauren Watkins as well as Tyrie Jeter were reportedly with DelTondo before her death. Jeter is the older brother of DelTondo’s boyfriend, Sheldon Jeter Jr. Both are said to have accompanied the former teacher for ice cream at Hank’s Frozen Custard in New Brighton.
Investigators obtained a warrant to access Stephanie Watkins’ Facebook account, which includes her private messages, wall postings, updates, and friend listings.
An hour before Rachael DelTondo’s death, both Lauren Watkins and Tyrie Jeter were reportedly with the victim. Lauren reportedly drove DelTondo home, but denies seeing the assailant, or hearing any gunshots.
DelTondo was taken to her mother’s Buchanan Street home in Stephanie Watkins’ car at 10:44 p.m. Four minutes later, neighbors counted up to 12 shots being fired.
After the shooting, some claimed that Sgt. Watkins was on the scene, and heard arguing with other officers. He is on administrative leave while the investigation is underway.
Boyfriend’s Alibi Doesn’t Match
Another warrant by the Aliquippa Police Department also requests access to Sheldon Jeter Jr.’s iPhone, to gather information about his geolocation data, and call records.
Jeter Jr. was already questioned and asked to provide police with his clothes from the night of the murder. He initially handed over a windbreaker and a pair of khakis, but surveillance camera footage shows him wearing a gray sweatshirt.
Before her death, DelTondo confided to Jeter Jr. about the death threats she received. He was concerned about her, and suggested she go to the police.
After searching for a handgun and bloody clothes at Jeter Jr.’s home, police confiscated a PlayStation and some books, as he told officers that he played video games, and wrote raps at the time of DelTondo’s murder.
Though there are inconsistencies in Jeter Jr.’s story, his attorney believes that his client was honest with police.
At this time, there are no details as to why a warrant was issued for Stephanie Watkins’ Facebook, or if police are questioning any possible suspects.