A Florida woman has been arrested and charged with killing an elderly man in Pennsylvania after she asked to use his restroom, PennLive.com reported.
Kathleen Susan Reed, 36, was charged Wednesday with killing W. John Ditzler, 83, whose body was found in his home about five miles east of Danville on Tuesday.
According to the arrest affidavit, Reed left her home in Florida on Saturday with her dog Barney. She was heading for Canada, she told detectives, because she believed her mother was trying to poison her.
After staying in hotels in Georgia and Virginia, she ran out of money and began asking people at gas stations to help her with gas and food.
In Pennsylvania, she stopped in front of Ditzler’s home and got out to stretch. She encountered him when she walked up the driveway and asked if she could use the bathroom. He allowed her to do so.
When she came out, she said that he told her to leave, and they struggled in the kitchen. She grabbed a knife and stabbed him in the shoulder, but the knife broke. She grabbed another knife and stabbed or slashed him in the throat.
She told detectives she didn’t know what to do and dragged him across the floor, then put the knife in the dishwasher, washed her hands, found the keys to his car, and drove away in it.
Police found her later at a convenience store sitting in the stolen car. She initially appeared unresponsive. She initially told police that a woman traveling with her had taken her car and that apparent blood on her jeans came from a cut on her hand.
She allegedly told police “I killed him,” when they took her into custody and said she killed him in self-defense.
After tracking the owner of the car she was in, police found Ditzler’s body and Reed’s car outside his home. They also found footprints that matched the shoes Reed was wearing.
Reed is being held without bail, charged with homicide, theft and possession of an instrument of crime. She is expected in court on July 31.
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