A suspended school teacher who had been accused of an inappropriate relationship with a student was reportedly shot to death in her mother’s driveway on Mother’s Day.
WXPI reports that 32-year-old Rachael DelTondo was gunned down at approximately 10:30 p.m. on Buchanan Drive in Aliquippa, Pennsylvania, after coming home from getting ice cream with a friend, family members said.
Authorities told the news station DelTondo was shot multiple times, and a coroner confirmed she died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds to the trunk of her body. A suspect has not been named or arrested, with authorities citing an ongoing investigation.
“I counted six shots that I heard,” DelTondo’s neighbor, Fred Poore, told CBS Pittsburgh.
DelTondo, who was previously engaged, was a teacher at the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School until last fall, when she was suspended after confidential information was allegedly leaked from the Aliquippa Police Department regarding her alleged relationship with a student. Her engagement was subsequently broken off due to the incident, reports KDKA.
A police incident report revealed officers discovered the teacher with the boy at approximately 2 a.m. in a parked car near Aliquippa Hospital, according to The Beaver Countian.
According to their news site, The Beaver Countian received an anonymous email containing a report by the Aliquippa Police Department about an incident that allegedly occurred on February 6, 2016.
“Attached you will find a police report outlining a incident where a currrent [sic] PA Cyber school teacher was caught with a former student in a vehicle,” read part of the email sent to The Beaver Countian, which they said included records from “county, state, and federal law databases.”
The report, which was reportedly written by an Aliquippa officer, and later confirmed to The Beaver Countian by law enforcement officials as being authentic, described DelTondo as being in a parked car with steamed windows alongside a 17-year-old student of hers.
The unredacted police report is believed to have contained personally identifying information that is not readily available to the public through open records releases, including parties’ social security numbers.
The report said DelTondo “didn’t want her fiance to know” she was with the boy, claiming he was a friend. The report concluded that “Deltondo was advised that there was better places to just talk with a former student,” and further stated that the responding officer hoped not to find her in the same predicament again. DelTondo then retreated back to her vehicle and “left the area,” according to the report.
The newspaper received an additional anonymous email on October 27th alleging a coverup.
“The reason this report was not filed in February 2016 with the Aliquippa School District, Children and Youth Services and a mandated report to the Department of Education was because it was an attempted cover up,” the second email reads.
Though DelTondo was never charged in the incident, she was suspended in November 2017 after Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School Chief Executive Officer Brian Hayden contacted ChildLine, which “is part of a mandated statewide child protective services program designed to accept child abuse referrals and general child well-being concerns, and transmit the information quickly to the appropriate investigating agency,” according to the organization’s website.
An investigation ensued, which led to DelTondo’s suspension.
DelTondo subsequently spoke with The Beaver Countian in December 2017, and said the relationship was merely a friendship. While her attorney reportedly advised her not to speak in detail regarding the incident, the suspended teacher did tell the media outlet she received death threats following the leak, which she said were reported to Aliquippa authorities.
On May 15, District Attorney David Lozier told reporters that while there is still not a suspect in the case, investigators now have a cell phone in their possession, and information from that phone will be retrieved. Lozier did not identify whose phone is being investigated.