The Aliquippa Police Department is investigating allegations that the mother and cousin of murder victim Rachael DelTondo have been harassing family members of DelTondo’s ex-fiancé for months.
A determination on whether to file criminal charges against Lisa DelTondo and Jackie Belcastro could come early next week, according to two sources with firsthand knowledge of the ongoing probe.
Rachael DelTondo was murdered at the bottom of her parents’ driveway on Mother’s Day. County detectives, who are solely investigating the killing, have yet to make an arrest.
DelTondo’s ex-fiancé Frank Catroppa and his brother Joseph (“Jojo”) had a lawyer contact authorities on Tuesday out of concern for their mother, Yvonne (“Vonnie”), who allegedly has been the subject of escalating harassment.
BeaverCountian.com interviewed Lisa and Jackie on Wednesday after learning Aliquippa police had opened the criminal investigation. Knowledge of the investigation was then known on an off-the-record basis.
Lisa admitted to harassing Vonnie and Jojo on Tuesday at an election station, and repeated her threats against them. Jackie also admitted to yelling obscenities at the two.
Jackie and Lisa both acknowledged that over the past few months they’ve repeatedly shouted out of their car windows at Vonnie as they drove past her home, which falls in a route between their two houses.
A lawyer for the Catroppa family contacted Aliquippa police on Election Day asking they intervene in the situation. County detectives subsequently paid a visit to the DelTondo residence on Tuesday night in an attempt to calm hostilities and prevent the need for Aliquippa to proceed with the criminal investigation.
County detectives were met with hostility from Lisa, who called 911 to have them removed from her home. Lisa said she was considering a divorce from her husband, Joe, because he sided with the investigators.
Jackie expressed concerns about Lisa’s mental health, fearing she may be a danger to herself or others, in the story published Wednesday. But she later told BeaverCountian.com the family had decided against any direct interventions, insisting Lisa’s disconcerting behavior “will pass.”
Sources have told BeaverCountian.com that Aliquippa police are extremely concerned about the optics of filing charges against DelTondo family members, but believe some action must be taken to keep the situation from possibly spiraling out of control.
The Catroppa family was similarly reluctant to seek charges, sources said, but have told police they now feel they are left with no other options as attempts by authorities to calm the DelTondos have failed.
Aliquippa Acting Police Chief Robert Sealock declined comment for this article about his department’s investigation.
Despite the ongoing hostilities, Lisa and Jackie each told BeaverCountian.com they do not believe Frank Catroppa is responsible for Rachael’s death, and investigators have cleared him of involvement in the murder.
County detectives, who have been investigating the case for nearly six months, have not publicly identified a suspect. Defense attorney Michael Santicola, who is representing Sheldon Jeter Jr. of Aliquippa, has acknowledged Jeter is the subject of intense scrutiny by investigators. In February of 2016, Aliquippa police discovered the then-17-year-old Jeter with DelTondo late at night in a parked car with steamed-up windows, and he has claimed a romantic relationship with her.