A Pennsylvania man has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter after he reportedly admitted to police that he raped and killed her, then hid her body in a freezer.
Jason Shackelford, 39, may face additional charges, pending the results of an autopsy and the continuing investigation, according to the Columbia Borough Police Department.
Columbia police said the investigation began on Friday when staff at the Wyndham Lancaster hotel contacted East Lampeter Township Police at the behest of a woman who said she was being held against her will by Shackelford, her former boyfriend.
Police said she told them that she had recently asked Shackelford to move out of their home and that on Thursday morning, he texted her while she was working her night shift to say her daughter was sick in bed. The woman rushed home, arriving at about 7:45 a.m., to find that Shackelford had lied. He showed her the daughter’s empty bed and said he’d take her to New York and that she was safe. Then he raped the woman and forced her to go to the Wyndham hotel with him, where he allegedly used the daughter’s “well-being as leverage” and raped the woman again.
Eventually, the woman asked to go outside and smoke a cigarette, and when she did, she told hotel staff to call police.
Police took Shackeford in for questioning, and he allegedly “admitted he raped and killed his girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter” and “attempted to conceal the victim’s body in a freezer in the basement.”
Officers found the girl’s body during an initial search of the home.
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[Featured image: Jason Shackelford/Columbia Borough Police Department]