By Francis Scarcella
The Daily Item/Sunbury, Penn.
SUNBURY, Penn. — The father of Miranda Barbour believes his daughter may be involved in one murder other than the alleged slaying of Troy LaFerrara and that he supports the state seeking the death penalty against his youngest child.
For the first time since his daughter was arrested for the murder of the 42-year old Port Trevorton man, Barbour’s father, who wished to remain anonymous, called The Daily Item this morning and spoke out about Miranda’s jail-house interview where she admitted to killing at least 22 people.
“I don’t believe her,” the grieving father said. “There is no way.”
The man said he does believe his daughter may have something to do with one death Miranda spoke about.
“The incident with the gun she talked about is possible,” he said. “But I can promise you that she has only been to California once and Texas a few times and both times she wasn’t out of my sight.
“The reason I think that the Alaska incident is a possibility is that Miranda ran away from home at least two times that I remember, both for over a 48 hour period,” he said. “Once was around the age of 13 and once was sometime the following year, when she was 14. I don’t know what took place during either of those 48-hour periods.”
Miranda said in a jail-house interview that she lured a man into an alley and watched as the leader as a satanic cult shot the man before telling Miranda it was her turn.
“She is good at manipulating people,” her father said. “She is the most manipulative person I have ever known.”
The man said his daughter has spent most of her life in and out of treatment facilities after she became hooked on heroin.
“But she was able to talk the doctors into letting her out of treatment,” he said. “We couldn’t stop it from happening and she was out.”
Miranda lived in a strict house, the father said.
“Once all this stuff with drugs started happening we locked our house down,” he said. “She wouldn’t have had the chance to do any of these things she said.”
The father had words for the family of LaFerrara, especially Colleen LaFerrara, Troy’s wife.
“Each morning, I pray for peace and comfort for you and your family. If I could trade my life for his, I can honestly say that I would do that for you. Twenty years in the military has taught me to be prepared to sacrifice. As a Christian, I have often struggled with the issue of capital punishment,” he wrote in a prepared statement to the LaFerrara family.
“However, as the reality of it settled in over the past few weeks, I believe God has brought me peace with the fact that capital punishment, if chosen by the jury, is an appropriate end in this situation. In that case, I would stand side by side with you, take your hand, and silently pray that some good may come of this.”
Meanwhile, investigators have yet to substantiate a 19-year-old woman’s claim that she killed more than 20 people in four states before the Pennsylvania murder she is now charged with committing.
Northumberland County District Attorney Tony Rosini said in a statement Tuesday “there has been no verification of any of the information that has been the subject of media coverage” in the case of Miranda Barbour, who with husband Elytte Barbour is awaiting trial in the death of a man they’re accused of luring through a Craigslist ad for companionship.
Rosini, who’s pursuing the death penalty for the Barbours, said ethical rules bar him from commenting on Miranda Barbour’s statements.
In the Sunbury homicide investigation, the Barbours repeatedly changed their accounts of the events leading up to the Nov. 11 death of Troy LaFerrara, who police say met up with Miranda Barbour for companionship in exchange for money.
Ultimately, police said, Miranda Barbour stabbed LaFerrara, 42, of Port Trevorton, about 20 times in her parked car. They said Elytte Barbour held a cord tight against LaFerrara’s neck from the back seat and then dumped his body in an alley.
Miranda Barbour initially denied knowing LaFerrara but changed her story when police gathered evidence including records that showed the last call to his cellphone came from hers, authorities said.
The couple, who married about three weeks before the killing, also initially told police that Miranda Barbour had acted alone and stabbed LaFerrara in self-defense, authorities said. A few days after her arrest, Elytte Barbour, 22, admitted his involvement after police obtained surveillance recordings that showed him getting out of her car on the night of the killing and buying supplies to clean it, they said.
Elytte Barbour told investigators the newlyweds killed LaFerrara because they wanted “to murder someone together,” police said.
Defense lawyers are seeking psychiatric evaluations for the Barbours, who have pleaded not guilty.
Miranda Barbour’s mother, Elizabeth Dean, said in an off-camera interview Tuesday with WRAL-TV in Raleigh, N.C., that she couldn’t imagine her committing the previous killings. Dean, of Cary, N.C., said she and her daughter had moved from Alaska to North Carolina in 2012 to get a fresh start.
Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo has said investigators are aware of Miranda Barbour’s claims about killings in other states and were contacting police in those jurisdictions.
Neither Pennsylvania state police nor the Pennsylvania attorney general’s office is involved in the investigation, spokesmen said Tuesday.
North Carolina’s State Bureau of Investigation “has been in contact with Pennsylvania authorities about this case” and remains in contact “to determine if there is any credible information related to any unsolved homicide in North Carolina,” spokeswoman Noelle Talley said.
In Alaska, state troopers said they were “not aware of any information, beyond Barbour’s comments quoted in the press, or evidence that would implicate Barbour with a homicide committed in Alaska.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.