A journalistic source for the Beaver Countian who was helping to uncover corruption in the City of Aliquippa and elsewhere has been murdered.
Law enforcement sources tell the Beaver Countian that 33-year-old Rachael Elena Deltondo was shot multiple times in the driveway of her parent’s home on Mother’s Day. Sources say the shooting occurred on the 2100 block of Buchanan Street in Aliquippa around 10:45 p.m. last night.
Sources say Deltondo died in a “hail of gunfire” and was struck multiple times, although autopsy results are still pending. Deltondo had been out getting ice cream with two friends — including the daughter of an Aliquippa Police Officer — prior to the shooting, according to multiple sources familiar with events leading up to her death. After getting ice cream, sources say friends had dropped Deltondo off at her parents’ home where she was living; gunfire then erupted.
Deltondo suffered multiple gunshot wounds, being fatally struck in the torso. Sources tell the Beaver Countian that Rachael Deltondo’s mother became irate at Aliquippa Police as they arrived to the scene last night, shouting that she believed their actions helped lead to her daughter’s death.
The Beaver Countian first reported about Rachael Deltondo in December of last year, when it published an investigative report revealing that sensitive law enforcement database records about her leaked from the Aliquippa Police Department to an unauthorized individual. The Beaver Countian’s reporting led to a criminal investigation into the Aliquippa Police Department by the Pennsylvania State Police. Sources say Aliquippa Police informed Deltondo’s mother last night that an investigation into them by State Police related to the unauthorized release of the sensitive files had been concluded, but individuals who have been interviewed by State Police tell the Beaver Countian the investigation remains ongoing.
Rachael Deltondo had informed the Beaver Countian about multiple death threats she had received, including one promising she would not live to see the end of 2018. Deltondo told the Beaver Countian she had reported the death threats to authorities.
The Beaver Countian had not publicly identified Deltondo as a source before now, although has information that others became aware of her role after she confided with friends. Deltondo told the Beaver Countian she had also cooperated with investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police and the Organized Crime Section of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office. Deltondo said she had retained Pittsburgh Attorney Blaine Jones to assist in her interactions with law enforcement officials — Attorney Jones confirmed his office’s representation of Deltondo to the Beaver Countian today, but declined further comment.
Allegations involving corruption in Beaver County are currently the subject of inquiry by the Pennsylvania Statewide Investigating Grand Jury. The Aliquippa Municipal Building was raided by investigators with the Pennsylvania State Police back in March, after a second confidential source for the Beaver Countian began informing state authorities about other alleged improprieties involving City officials. That source voluntarily revealed to investigators they had been informing this publication’s reporting.
Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier told the Beaver Countian he could not comment on the status of the investigation into Rachael Elena Deltondo’s murder.
“This is a complicated joint investigation by the Beaver County Detective Bureau, the Aliquippa Police Department, and the Pennsylvania State Police,” said District Attorney Lozier. “We are all working together on this hand in hand.”
District Attorney Lozier would not comment when asked about the propriety of having the Aliquippa Police Department involved in the homicide investigation.