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Teacher stabbed to death in mother’s driveway had received death threats; search warrants cast doubt on ex-fiance’s alibi

Search warrants obtained by a Pittsburgh news outlet show that Rachael DelTondo, a suspended teacher who was murdered on Mother’s Day in Pennsylvania, had received death threats before she was shot to death in her mother’s driveway.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette obtained warrants detailing interviews the police conducted with Rachael’s parents. The 33-year-old’s parents reportedly said that their daughter had received death threats on social media and showed police two such written threats.

One message sent via social media read: “ur not gonna make it 2018 stupid [expletive] Ur dead.”

It is not known who sent the threats or exactly when.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, DelTondo had been suspended from her teaching job at PA Cyber Charter School after a local newspaper ran a story based on a February 2016 incident in which Aliquippa police found her in a parked car with a then 17-year-old high school student, Sheldon Jeter.

DelTondo and Jeter reportedly said they were just talking, and DelTondo was not charged with any wrongdoing. According to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette report, DelTondo asked police not to tell her then-fiancé , Frank Catroppa, about the incident. 

Someone inside the police department reportedly leaked the story to the local newspaper. Before her death, DelTondo had reportedly claimed to have been interviewed as a witness in an investigation involving the Aliquippa Police Department.

DelTondo’s engagement to Catroppa ended badly nearly two years ago, after the incident with Jeter, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Police have reportedly executed search warrants for phone records and/or social media account information from Jeter and his older brother Tyrie Jeter, was well as DelTondo’s friend Lauren Watkins, 17, and Watkins’ mother Stephanie Watkins.

DelTondo had gone out for ice cream with Tyrie Jeter and Lauren Watkins the night of her murder, and was shot in her driveway just minutes after Lauren Watkins dropped her off.

Catroppa has denied any involvement in DelTondo’s murder, but warrants obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette seeking Catroppa’s phone records suggest that his alibi is not airtight.

Catroppa reportedly told police that he had visited his mother and his mother’s girlfriend on the evening of May 13, the date of DelTondo’s death, and then returned home with his girlfriend at about 7:30 p.m. But data from his apartment building’s “key fob” does not register any entries to the building on that day. Police are reportedly seeking his cell phone records to help support or disprove his alibi.