A couple married for just three weeks lured a man to his death with an ad on the Craigslist website because they wanted to kill someone together, police said.
Elytte Barbour, 22, told officers before his arrest on Friday night that he and his wife, Miranda, 18, had planned to kill before, but their plans never worked out until last month when Troy LaFerrara responded to an online posting that promised companionship in return for money, authorities said.
"They had tried to kill others before this victim but the plan didn't work out so they continued to try to find someone," police wrote in an affidavit.
The couple face criminal homicide charges in LaFerrara's death. His body was found on November 12 in an alley in Sunbury, a small city about 160 kilometres northwest of Philadelphia. The couple had recently moved to nearby Selinsgrove from Dunn, North Carolina.
Sunbury's police chief, Steve Mazzeo, said he did not want to comment on the case or the couple's motives since it was still an active investigation.
According to Sunbury police, Elytte Barbour told investigators he hid under a blanket in the backseat of the couple's SUV as his wife picked up LaFerrara at a mall on November 11.
He told police that, on his wife's signal, he wrapped a cord around LaFerrara's neck, restraining him while his wife stabbed him.
LaFerrara, 42, was stabbed about 20 times, police said.
Miranda Barbour was charged on Tuesday, a day after the police had first contacted her. She initially denied knowing LaFerrara, but her story changed as investigators gathered more evidence, including the discovery that the last call received by the victim's cellphone was made from her number, according to a police affidavit.
The affidavit said she acknowledged meeting the victim in Selinsgrove and driving with him to Sunbury, where they parked.
She said LaFerrara groped her and she took a knife from between the front seats and stabbed him after he put his hand around her throat.
Police said that the couple told them that they committed the murder because they just wanted to murder someone together.
Following his wife's arrest, Elytte Barbour told The Daily Item of Sunbury that Miranda Barbour, whom he married on October 22, regularly hired herself out as a "companion" to men whom she met on various websites, a business venture he said he supported because it didn't involve sexual contact.
Barbour said his wife made anywhere from US$50 to US$850 by meeting with men for such activities as having dinner together. or walking around a mall.