SUNBURY PENNSYLVANIA – A couple married just three weeks lured a Pennsylvania man to his death with a Craigslist ad because they wanted to kill someone together, police said.
Elytte Barbour told officers before his arrest Friday night that he and his wife, Miranda, had intended to kill before but their plans never worked out until last month, when Troy LaFerrara responded to an online posting that promised companionship in return for money.
Barbour, 22, and his 18-year-old wife both face criminal homicide charges in LaFerrara’s death. His body was found Nov. 12 in an alley in Sunbury, a small city northwest of Philadelphia. The couple recently moved to nearby Selinsgrove from North Carolina.
According to Sunbury police, Barbour told investigators he hid in the backseat of the couple’s SUV as his wife picked up LaFerrara, 42, at a mall Nov. 11. On his wife’s signal, he wrapped a cord around LaFerrara’s neck to restrain him while Miranda Barbour stabbed him.
He was stabbed 20 times, police said.
Miranda Barbour was charged Wednesday. She initially denied knowing LaFerrara but her story evolved as investigators gathered evidence, including the discovery that the last call received by the victim’s cellphone was made from her number, according to a police affidavit.
The affidavit said she acknowledged meeting LaFerrara in Selinsgrove and then driving with him to Sunbury, where they parked. She said LaFerrara groped her and she took a knife from between the front seats and stabbed him after he put his hand around her throat, according to the affidavit.
Police said she had told them she purchased cleaning supplies at a department store after stabbing LaFerrara, then picked up her husband and took him to a strip club for his birthday. On Friday, police said Elytte Barbour told them it was he that had purchased the cleaning products, an account investigators said was backed up by surveillance footage.
Following his wife’s arrest, Barbour told The Daily Item of Sunbury his wife, whom he married Oct. 22, regularly hired herself out as a “companion” to men she met on various websites, a business venture he said he supported because it did not involve sexual contact. Barbour said she made anywhere from $50 to $850 for meeting with men for such activities as having dinner or walking around a mall.
The ads she placed on websites including Craigslist all said up-front that sex was not part of the deal, he said.
“She is not a prostitute,” Barbour said. “What she does is meet men who have broken marriages or have no one in their lives and she meets with them and has delightful conversation.”
Barbour did not have an attorney at his arraignment Friday night. A phone message left for his wife’s public defender early Saturday was not immediately returned.
Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo told The Daily Item that investigators will also be looking into the death of a man with whom Miranda Barbour had a 1-year-old child.