UNITED STATES NEWS

An arrest has been made and charges filed in Pennsylvania slaying of pregnant Amish woman

Mar 2, 2024, 7:02 AM

SPARTANSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man was arrested Saturday and charged with the slaying of a pregnant Amish woman whose body was found last week.

Shawn C. Cranston, 52, of Corry, has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass, Pennsylvania State Police said.

He was denied bail at a preliminary arraignment early Saturday morning and is being held at the Crawford County jail. Online court records show a preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 15; they do not list a defense attorney.

Calls and emails to state police, the district attorney and public defender’s offices were not immediately returned Saturday morning.

Crawford’s arrest comes less than a week after authorities found the body of Rebekah A. Byler, 23, in the living room of her home a few miles from Spartansburg.

Police said she appeared to have cutting wounds to her neck and head.

The killing shocked the rural community in northwestern Pennsylvania, where people say the Amish get along well with their neighbors in the area.

Police began their investigation Feb. 26 after Byler’s husband, Andy Byler, found her body inside the home shortly after noon.

Trooper Cynthia Schick told The Associated Press on Thursday the investigation and autopsy have given police an idea of what murder weapon may have been used.

Two young Byler children at the home were not harmed, Schick has said.

The Bylers’ home is located along a dirt road in a very remote farming area. Scores of Amish turned out for calling hours Thursday evening at a home in the community. Many arrived by buggies lit by headlights along the narrow country roads.

Residents said the Amish had a longstanding presence in the area and mix well with the surrounding community. Amish and non-Amish visit each other’s homes, and the Amish work jobs for the non-Amish and attend events like the fish fries, they said. Neighbors have been raising money to help the Byler family.

The Amish generally follow basic Christian beliefs and practices but are not homogeneous, according to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. They are known for simple clothing and for relying on horses and buggies for transportation. Local congregations maintain a variety of rules and restrictions regarding dress, the use of technology and participation in American society.

The overall Amish population is nearly 400,000 people in hundreds of settlements across 32 states, Canada and Bolivia. Pennsylvania has one of the greatest concentrations of Amish.

United States News

Associated Press

Report urges fixes to online child exploitation CyberTipline before AI makes it worse

A tipline set up 26 years ago to combat online child exploitation has not lived up to its potential and needs technological and other improvements to help law enforcement go after abusers and rescue victims, a new report from the Stanford Internet Observatory has found. The fixes to what the researchers describe as an “enormously […]

32 minutes ago

Associated Press

The Latest | Trump returning to court for opening statements in his historic hush money trial

NEW YORK (AP) — Opening statements in Donald Trump’s historic hush money trial are set to begin Monday morning, setting the stage for weeks of unsavory and salacious testimony about the former president’s personal life and placing his legal troubles at the center of his closely contested campaign against President Joe Biden. A panel of […]

3 hours ago

Associated Press

Kevin Bacon dances back to “Footloose” high school

PAYSON, Utah (AP) — Actor Kevin Bacon on Saturday returned to the Utah high school where the cult classic movie “Footloose” was filmed more than 40 years. Bacon danced his way to a stage on a Payson High School athletic field Saturday to greet students before what likely was the final prom held at the […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

Arkansas teen held on murder charge after fatal shooting outside party after high school prom

HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. (AP) — An Arkansas teen is in custody on a first-degree murder charge in connection with the fatal shooting of a high school senior outside a party early Sunday following a high school prom. Donterious Stephens, 19, of Helena, turned himself in to authorities Sunday afternoon in the shooting death of Lorenzo […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

Terry Anderson, AP reporter held captive for years, has died

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Terry Anderson, the globe-trotting Associated Press correspondent who became one of America’s longest-held hostages after he was snatched from a street in war-torn Lebanon in 1985 and held for nearly seven years, has died at 76. Anderson, who chronicled his abduction and torturous imprisonment by Islamic militants in his best-selling 1993 […]

16 hours ago

Associated Press

Suspect in killing of Idaho sheriff’s deputy fatally shot by police, authorities say

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An Idaho sheriff’s deputy died after being shot by a driver during a traffic stop, and a man believed to be the shooting suspect was later fatally shot by police, authorities said Sunday. Deputy Tobin Bolter was shot as he approached the driver’s window at about 9 p.m. Saturday in Boise, […]

17 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinics: transforming health care in the valley

Midwestern University, long a fixture of comprehensive health care education in the West Valley, is also a recognized leader in community health care.

An arrest has been made and charges filed in Pennsylvania slaying of pregnant Amish woman