CBS News' Erin Moriarty and BeaverCountian.com's John Paul outside of the Aliquippa Police Department / photo courtesy CBS News
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After a year spent investigating Rachael DelTondo’s murder, veteran CBS News correspondent Erin Moriarty said one thing is clear to her: Citizens of Aliquippa and Beaver County need to start expecting more from their elected officials.

BeaverCountian.com worked in conjunction with Moriarty and a team of talented CBS News journalists out of New York City to produce an hour-long episode of “48 HOURS” focusing on DelTondo’s murder.

“There is reason why we are doing this story to begin with, and that is to show how important a functional police department and investigators are when you want to solve and prevent crime,” Moriarty told BeaverCountian.com on Tuesday, as the network was finalizing the episode.

“To me, this is a cautionary tale of what happens when you have problems within a department … Nobody knows who to trust, nobody knows what will happen next. These are unwelcome and unnecessary distractions when something like this happens.

“Let’s say you are a witness and you do know something. Who do you trust?”

DelTondo, 33, was gunned down in her parent’s Aliquippa driveway on Mother’s Day, May 13, 2018. She had spoken with state investigators, and was also a confidential source for this site about alleged corruption in Aliquippa and elsewhere in Beaver County.

The next month, the city’s police chief was put on paid administrative leave and accused of being a subject of a state police investigation. Shortly afterward, the assistant police chief also was put on paid leave and charged by county detectives with seemingly unrelated crimes. The city’s third acting police chief recused the department from the investigation, and turned it over entirely to county detectives.

Another city officer was put on paid leave and later demoted after county District Attorney David Lozier said he wouldn’t prosecute any cases filed by the officer. And a statewide Grand Jury empaneled before the murder continued to hand out subpoenas in an investigation of city and county corruption.

Moriarty said CBS expanded the scope of its reporting to take a broader look at issues surrounding DelTondo’s murder.

“We are really pushing to get some answers, not just on Rachael’s death but the events that lead to her death. I think people will have a better idea of what happened, and then should start to expect more from the people they elect,” Moriarty said.

“They should demand the mayor, city council, and district attorney figure out a way to get an operating investigative system so people don’t have to be afraid of crime.

“People need to demand more from their public officials. I hope that is what they feel after they see our show … They should be angry.”

CBS News’ Erin Moriarty and BeaverCountian.com’s John Paul / photo courtesy CBS News

As part of its reporting, “48 HOURS” explored the October 2017 leak of confidential information from law enforcement databases about DelTondo that originated from the Aliquippa Police Department.

Included in the leak was a police report about officers finding DelTondo in a steamed-up car with 17-year-old Sheldon Jeter Jr. in February 2016.

DelTondo was never charged with a crime, but the report’s leak lead to her being suspended from her teaching job. She had not yet been reinstated before being murdered.

“Justice for Rachael DelTondo is not only finding her killer, but repairing her reputation; to get her good name back and to get her killer put away,” Moriarty said.

“It is clear to me that she died with her reputation damaged in a way it shouldn’t have been. No one brought charges against her, the investigation was over, and she was still suspended (from her job) … Rachael is a victim. Nobody should be shot down in front of her parents’ home on Mother’s Day.

“She’s a victim and she deserves justice. The idea that there is somebody who felt that he or she could get away with walking up to someone and shooting them multiple times and taking away their life; that person needs to be arrested and locked away.

“Those are my feelings of Rachael DelTondo. None of us have perfect lives, but nothing she did makes this murder acceptable. Nothing.”

CBS News’ Erin Moriarty and BeaverCountian.com’s John Paul in the field where Rachael DelTondo was discovered with Sheldon Jeter Jr. / photo courtesy CBS News

Because no officials have been arrested to date on corruption related charges, Moriarty said it’s hard to know what is really taking place in Beaver County.

“I think there is certainly an appearance of corruption and that can be just as damaging as actual corruption. It is almost a cultural thing now (in Beaver County).

“If you are going to bring people into the grand jury, either bring charges or start (the investigation) all over again. Nobody knows when the next shoe will drop. … I am not blaming any one person. It’s the entire system, there is no one stepping forward saying, ‘we should get our act together.’”

The things Moriarty has seen during the ongoing investigation into DelTondo’s death leave her with little regard for the Aliquippa Police Department.

“It does not match up in any way shape or form to so many of the other departments we have seen that have been able to investigate really tough cases … When you’re getting suspended, when you’re getting charges brought against you, you can’t focus on anything but your own life.”

While Moriarty said the episode does not reach a conclusion as to who killed DelTondo, the evidence presented does start to paint a picture for the viewer.

“I caution anyone who sees our report to realize our hour does seem to point in one direction, because the known evidence seems to point in one direction. But there could be missing factors that could change the whole thing. I think we know as much as we can.”

Despite all of the controversies and twists and turns in this case, the nine-time national Emmy Award-winning reporter has never lost sight of what matters the most – the life of Rachael DelTondo.

“There is something so poignantly sad about this young woman, who should have been in the prime of her life, never getting the things she really wanted,” Moriarty said.

“It is really sad.”

CBS’ “48 HOURS” will broadcast its national primetime report at 10 p.m. on Saturday.

See Also: Timeline: The Murder Of Rachael DelTondo

Rachael DelTondo’s parents, Lisa and Joe DelTondo, being interviewed by Erin Moriarty / photo courtesy CBS News
John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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Gray Squirrel
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Gray Squirrel

Well Loser Lozier now the entire Nation is gonna see what a bumbling idiot you are, a disgrace to the legal system an to the people of Beaver County , why you let the
Aliquippa Police Department the Mayor an the Officials of that town get away with corruption during your tenure is mind boggling , i only wish i had a nickle for every person that will use the phase, ” Who is this idiot they have for a District Attorney in Beaver County”
after watching this hour-long episode of 48 HOURS.

Veritas
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Veritas

It is extremely important that the VOTERS read BEAVERCOUNTIAN.COM and watch 48 HOURS.

mister c
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mister c

Nobody knows who to trust, nobody knows what will happen next. “Man, is that the truth”.

Raven
Member
Raven

“It is almost a cultural thing now (in Beaver County).” Almost, no. It is a cultural thing. For about 80 years now.

It’s like your grandmother’s reliable bread starter yeast in the kitchen corner or the craft beer brewer’s starter yeast potion that they could add to indefinitely, and it never dies. And like your grandmother’s reliable mixture, it will always be there. In a dark corner. Bubbling in wait.

At least until the cracker plant goes up with a flash bang and levels MonacaQuip, leaving nothing behind but memories.

Ms. Ophelia
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Ms. Ophelia

raven, sometimes …. you try just alittle too hard. Maybe they’ll call if Tady decides to retire.

John Q Taxpayer
Member
John Q Taxpayer

In my opinion Lozier is way more corrupt than anyone in Aliquippa. He flat out lied about arranging to meet with Percy to collect information. Lozier stood up to defend a rogue Beaver police officer that had gone off the rails long ago. Lozier has turned his head and looked the other way and miserably failed the Javens investigation, I believe that to be intentional. He stand up for hundreds of hours in overtime that is racked up by his excellent detectives who can’t ever solve anything without some informant dropping all the information in their lap. He just about completely ignored any wrong doing by anyone that is in the courthouse. For the money he gets paid, we deserve way better than Lozier. He has done a great disservice to the residents of Beaver County and as far as I am concerned, every time he is issued a paycheck, the taxpayers are being robbed. Now that election time is near, we will be hearing a bunch of bullshit from him and the other officials about how good they are and everything they are going to do for us. Don’t fall for it again! Enough is enough! Clean out your desks and go home! Vote against all incumbents this coming election day. DON’T BE FOOLED AGAIN!