Local News

Suspects in Pennsylvania Craigslist killing have Harnett ties

Posted December 9, 2013 2:19 p.m. EST
Updated December 9, 2013 8:25 p.m. EST

— A married couple who Pennsylvania police say lured a man to his death with a Craigslist ad has ties to Harnett County.

Elytte Randle Barbour, 22, and Miranda Kamille Barbour, 18, were arrested last week in connection with the death of Troy LaFerrara, whose body was found Nov. 12 in an alley in Sunbury, a small city about 100 miles northwest of Philadelphia.

According to Sunbury police, Elytte Barbour told officers before his arrest Friday that he and his wife had planned to kill before but that their plans never worked out until last month when LaFerrara, 42, responded to an online posting that promised companionship in return for money.

Elytte Barbour told investigators that he hid under a blanket in the backseat of the couple's SUV as his wife picked up LaFerrara at a mall Nov. 11. He told police that, on his wife's signal, he wrapped a cord around LaFerrara's neck, restraining him while Miranda Barbour stabbed him.

LaFerrara was stabbed at least 20 times, police said, although they won't comment on what they believe is a possible motive for the crime.

The couple, who had been married only three weeks at the time of the crime, had recently moved to the area from Coats, where Miranda Barbour lived, according to an Oct. 22 application for a marriage license.

Neighbors said Monday that she lived with relatives at a home on East Main Street and worked at a local Carlie C's IGA grocery store.

No one at the store would comment Monday and no one appeared to be at the East Main Street home Monday morning. No one answered the door at a Cary home where, according to the marriage license, Miranda Barbour's mother lives.

Authorities say Miranda Barbour also has a daughter who was born last July, and that investigators also plan to look into the death of the child's father. They would not say if there is a suspicion of foul play.

Elytte Barbour was listed on the marriage application as living with his parents at their home on Tart Road West just outside Coats in Dunn. A man who answered the door there Monday afternoon declined to comment on the case.

Neighbors said they saw Miranda Barbour in passing and that she seemed like a sweet girl and that they are shocked by the allegations and news of her arrest.

She was charged Tuesday, a day after police first contacted her.

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 an affidavit in her case.

That affidavit said Miranda Barbour acknowledged meeting the victim in nearby Selinsgrove and 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 Miranda Barbour 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 he was the one who had purchased the cleaning products, an account investigators said was backed up by surveillance footage.

Following his wife's arrest, Elytte Barbour told The Daily Item of Sunbury that Miranda Barbour regularly hired herself out as a "companion" to men she met on various websites, a business venture he said he supported because it didn't involve sexual contact.

Elytte Barbour said his wife made anywhere from $50 to $850 by meeting with men for such activities as having dinner together or walking around a mall. The ads she placed on websites including Craigslist all said upfront that sex was not part of the deal, he said.

"She is not a prostitute," he told the newspaper. "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."