Sunbury, PA — Newlyweds Elytte and Miranda Barbour shared a fantasy of committing murder together, a dream they executed to celebrate their three-week wedding anniversary.
The couple “just wanted to murder someone together,” Sunbury Police Corporal Brad Hare said.
Eighteen-year-old Miranda Barbour was arrested Tuesday and faces criminal homicide and assault charges in the November 11 stabbing and strangulation death of 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara. Her 22-year-old husband was arrested Friday night and faces similar charges. Both are being held without bail.
Miranda Barbour regularly hired herself out as a “companion,” making anywhere from $50 to $850. Her husband supported the venture because it didn’t involve sexual contact, which was stated upfront in Barbour’s ads. Instead, she would have dinner or walk around a mall with the men who paid for her company.
“She is not a prostitute,” Elytte Barbour said. “What she does is meet men who have broken marriages or have no one in their lives, and she meets with them and has delightful conversation.”
After posting an ad on Craigslist, Miranda Barbour met Troy LaFerrara at the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Hummels Wharf, Pennsylvania, on November 11. Elytte Barbour was hiding under a blanket in the backseat of his wife’s red Honda CRV and, when he received a signal, began to strangle LaFerrara with a cord. Miranda Barbour then stabbed LaFerrara 20 times, and the couple left him for dead in a Sunbury alley, where police found his body the next day. After they dumped the body, Elytte Barbour bought bleach wipes, a towel, and cleaning liquid to remove the blood from inside the Honda.
Miranda Barbour, who has a 1 1/2-year-old whose father is dead, surrendered herself to Selinsgrove police Tuesday, telling them she was alone at the time of the murder and had stabbed Troy LaFerrara because he put his hands around her neck and groped her. Her husband visited the Sunbury Daily Item Wednesday after she was arrested and said she wasn’t a “cold killer,” and that he didn’t know anything about the murder until she surrendered. He said he kept a 3-inch pocket knife in the glove compartment of his wife’s Honda, which she threw in the Susquehanna River. Friday, Elytte Barbour told police that LaFerrara fought back as he was being strangled, and that he pulled the cord tighter while his wife stabbed him.
Elytte Barbour also told police that the couple had planned to kill before, but the plan didn’t work until LaFerrara.
Sunbury police chief Steve Mazzeo said the death of the father of Miranda Barbour’s child may have circumstances that will lead an investigation of the Barbours in other states. The couple moved to Pennsylvania from North Carolina in October, and police believe there may be other victims.