Rachael DelTondo murder: Inmate who said he got letter claiming police officer who killed teacher admits he lied; says detectives fed him details

The inmate had previously passed a lie detector test which found he was telling the truth about the letter

An inmate in the Beaver County Jail has reportedly admitted to fabricating a letter purportedly written by a witness at the scene of Rachael DelTondo’s murder, and implicating an Aliquippa police officer in her murder.

As CrimeOnline previously reported, Beaver County Jail inmate Wayne Cordes received a letter from a witness to the fatal Mother’s Day shooting of Rachael DelTondo.  It was later revealed that the letter was purportedly written by Lauren Watkins, a friend of Rachael’s who was with her the night she died, and is the daughter of Aliquippa Police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins, who has been placed on leave since Rachael’s murder due to his connection to the investigation.

Cordes’s attorney successfully argued for a plea deal that reduced the charges against Cordes in exchange for his cooperation with the investigation, presumably based on the information contained in the letter. The Beaver Countain reports that Cordes submitted to an FBI lie detector test about the letter, which showed he was telling the truth about the letter.

But it now appears that Cordes was not telling the truth. The Beaver Countain reports that after Cordes secured a plea deal, he admitted that the letter was fake and that he had no knowledge of Rachael DelTondo’s murder.

“I didn’t know Rachael at all,” Cordes told the Beaver Countian. “I just seen everything on the news that some girl got killed, and a week later the [Beaver County] detectives came to me and said Lauren (Watkins) sent me a letter.

“She never did, so I didn’t know where the f*** they got that information from but they were wrong. They put it right on my lap and it just happened.”

Cordes said that he obtained information from detectives within the District Attorney’s office in order to help contact his story.

“The detectives themselves told me a lot of things I didn’t know the first time they talked to me,” Cordes told the Beaver Countian. 

Cordes said he had another inmate pen the letter, writing in the voice of Lauren Watkins. He now says he regrets what he did, and that he didn’t realize what kind of effect it would have on the investigation.

“I didn’t think it was going to affect the case so much,” he said. I didn’t think about any of that. The only thing that was on my mind was getting out.”