Aliquippa Police Chief Donald Couch is seeking to have action taken against an officer in his department for allegedly engaging in unprofessional conduct that could have contaminated the Deltondo murder crime scene, according to documents obtained by the Beaver Countian.
The Beaver Countian has obtained a copy of a letter written by Aliquippa Police Captain Robert Sealock to Chief Couch and Assistant Chief Joe Perciavalle concerning the alleged actions of Sgt. Kenneth Watkins on the night of Rachael Deltondo’s murder. As reported yesterday by the Beaver Countian, Sgt. Kenneth Watkins was placed on a paid administrative leave following Deltondo’s death because his daughter has been identified as an “associated person” in the case.
In Captain Sealock’s letter, printed on departmental stationary and dated May 15th, he tells his chain of command that Sgt. Watkins and his daughter showed up to the crime scene the night of Rachael Deltondo’s murder and ran towards the police tape. Sealock alleges Watkins entered the crime scene despite being warned by on-duty officers not to.
“Sgt. Watkins was off-duty and showed no respect for the crime scene, this is unacceptable for a veteran officer,” wrote Sealock. The letter concluded, “As your Captain, it’s my determination that the scene could have been contaminated and Sgt. Watkins acted in an unprofessional manner.”
Chief Couch reacted to Captain Sealock’s letter in an email, saying in part that, “In addition to this complaint, during a formal interview Sergeant Watkins’ wife and daughter made insulting remarks about me to two detectives assigned to this recent homicide. These comments were made directly in front of Sergeant Watkins.”
Kenneth Watkins, his wife, and his daughter all declined public comment for this article when the Beaver Countian reached them by phone.
Captain Robert Sealock’s Letter In Full:
On May 13th, 2018 at approximately 2248 Hours, Officer D’Arrigo, K-9 Officer Brown and I, Captain Sealock responded to shots fired at Brodhead and Caler Street. Upon arrival our investigation quickly led us to a Homicide scene at [the 2100 block of] Buchanan Street. The scene was taped off and calls to Detectives were placed. The victim’s parents then exited their home and tried to enter the scene on numerous occasions. Hopewell Officers were then called to assist. This scene became chaotic at times, but officers were able to preserve the scene.
At approximately 2310 Hours, Sgt. Watkins and his daughter [juvenile’s name redacted] arrived on scene and ran towards the tape. K-9 Officer Brown and Officer D’Arrigo yelled at [Sgt. Watkins’ daughter] not to enter the Police tape. Sgt. Watkins did enter the crime scene and was told on two separate occasions to exit. Sgt. Watkins was off-duty and showed no respect for the crime scene, this is unacceptable for a veteran officer. I would not accept this from the parents of the victim on their own property and surely do not accept this from an off-duty officer.
As your Captain, it’s my determination that the scene could have been contaminated and Sgt. Watkins acted in an unprofessional manner. These actions were viewed by all emergency personnel and the public. I am requesting this situation be addressed.