Detectives hunting the murderer of a teacher gunned down on her driveway searched the home Thursday of a man she was found with in a steamed-up car when he was just 17.
Cops removed bags of evidence from the home in Aliquippa, PA, after getting a search warrant which also covered Sheldon Jeter Jr’s phone records.
Jeter, now 20, was 17 when he was found in a car with Rachael DelTondo in Feburary 2016. She begged cops not to tell her then fiance about the discovery.
The teacher was gunned down on her driveway on Sunday just after 11pm after buying ice cream with Jeter’s brother.
The development came after DailyMail.com disclosed that Jeter Jr was the subject of search warrants – although his lawyer said he was not involved in the murder in any form.
And DelTondo’s former fiance also spoke out to deny any involvement in the killing.
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Search warrant: Sheldon Jeter Jr (center) has had his phone records and other items seized by cops hunting the murderer of Rachael DelTonto, with whom he was found in a steamed-up car when he was 17
Searched: Cops were seen leaving the home of Sheldon Jeter Jr with brown bags after their search. They also had a warrant for his phone records
Local cops: The hunt for the murderer is being lead by Aliquippa Police Department
Warrant served: Cops handed over the paperwork to get into Sheldon Jeter Jr’s home. His attorney told DailyMail.com: ‘He had nothing to do with this tragic shooting. He has had a long standing relationship with the victim.’
DelTondo’s death comes just six months after the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School teacher was suspended from her job over a leaked police report
Rachael DelTondo, 32, (pictured) was standing on her mother’s Buchanan Street driveway, in Aliquippa, Beaver County, on Sunday when she was killed in a hail of gunfire
Frank Catroppa – a businessman once nicknamed the Wolf of Aliquippa – told KDKA-TV: ‘When you’re with somebody for eight years, that’s quite some time, you just hope to see that they at least get justice. It’s a sad, sad case.’
His attorney, Stephen Colafella added: ‘We wanted to be very, very clear publicly that Frank Catroppa has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what happened.’
At Jeter’s home family members gathered on the front porch as a police SUV and sedan in the street pulled off.
One woman, believed to be Sheldon’s mother, Delsha Crumb Flannigan, appeared to be crying on the porch, while an older man held onto what appeared to be official paperwork and made a phone call.
DelTondo’s murder comes six months after she was suspended from her job when a February 2016 police report was leaked, revealing she had been found in a ‘steamed-up’ parked car with a 17-year-old boy.
DailyMail.com and the BeaverCountian.com revealed on Thursday that earlier this week, the Aliquippa Police Department applied for a search warrant for the individual she was found in the car with – Sheldon ‘Scatter’ Jeter Jr.
Police are attempting to establish suspects in the case which investigators have described as a ‘crime of passion’. Beaver County District Attorney David Lozier said evidence appeared to show the perpetrator was known to the victim.
No suspects have been identified by police and no arrests have been made. The search warrant was applied for by Aliquippa Detective Captain Ryan Pudik and by signed by Magisterial District Judge Janet Swithart.
Court documents viewed by DailyMail.com and the Beaver Countian show that the subject of the search warrant is Sheldon Jeter Jr – the boy she was found with in 2016, who is now 20.
The warrant, filed on May 14 by the City of Aliquippa Bureau of Police, is seeking access to Jeter’s iPhone, call records and geolocation data.
According to the affidavit, DelTondo had been picked up by female friend, daughter of Aliquippa police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins, around 8pm om Sunday night.
Sgt Watkins has been placed on paid administrative leave by Chief of Police Donald Couch because his daughter, who is a minor and is not being named by DailyMail.com, is involved as witness in the case, according to the Countian.
According to the search warrant’s affidavit, DelTondo and her friend went to Circle K convenience store, then visited a friend before DelTondo returned to her parents’ home to change her clothes at 9.20pm. Ten minutes later, the two women left in Watkins’ car and picked up Tyrie Jeter, brother of Sheldon Jeter Jr, in downtown Aliquippa.
The three drove to Hank’s Frozen Custard in New Brighton to get ice cream. After about an hour, the friend drove back to DelTondo’s home, leaving her there at 10.44pm and driving off with Tyrie Jeter.
Reports of gunshots were made four minutes later.
Innocent: Rachael DelTondo’s ex-fiance Frank Catroppa – nicknamed The Wolf of Aliquippa – told KDKA-TC it was a ‘sad, sad case’ while his attorney Stephen Colafella added: ‘We wanted to be very, very clear publicly that Frank Catroppa has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with what happened.’
An affidavit shows DelTondo when to Circle K convenience store (pictured) visited a friend, and returned to her parents’ home before picking up Tyrie Jeter
The 32-year-old and her friends drove to get ice cream and was dropped back off at her parents’ home (pictured) at 10.44pm, and reports of gunshots were made four minutes later
DelTondo was hanging out with a female friend, who is the daughter of Aliquippa police Sgt. Kenneth Watkins, around 8pm om Sunday night
According to the affidavit, Tyrie Jeter confirmed to police that he had gone to Hank’s Frozen Custard with the two women and that DelTondo was left outside her parents’ home at 10.44pm by the female friend who said she would return. The friend dropped Tyrie on Main Street, he told police.
Text messages from the female friend’s phone revealed that she texted DelTondo at 10.41pm, ‘go for a walk I’ll pick you up after’. DelTondo replied, ‘U serious?’ ‘Haha’ at 10.44pm. Ten minutes later, she texted DelTondo ‘be there soon’ and six minutes after that ‘on my way’. At 11.07pm, she tried to call DelTondo’s cell phone.
Tyrie Jeter allowed police to look at his cell phone messages. At 10.07pm he had a message from his brother Sheldon which read: ‘Is yal there already?’
Tyrie responded: ‘Yea’. At 10.15pm, Sheldon texted Tyrie: ‘I got left huh’ – with six smiley face emojis. At 10.19pm, Sheldon texted Tyrie: ‘Who all you with’.
Then at 10.30pm, Sheldon text Tyrie: ‘Hanks closed.’
Police interviewed Sheldon Jeter on May 14. During the interview, he asked officers why they had come and when they informed him of DelTondo’s murder, he showed ‘no emotion’, according to the affidavit.
Sheldon Jeter told police that he had seen Rachael DelTondo at Circle K with a ‘white girl’ he later identified as the police sergeant’s daughter. Sheldon said DelTondo told him that ‘they were going to get ice cream somewhere’.
Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School(pictured) suspended DelTondo after school officials and members of the media received an anonymous email in October 2017, containing the 2016 Aliquippa police incident report which implied she inappropriately met with a 17-year-old boy – who has now been identified as Sheldon Jeter
DelTondo’s (pictured with a partner in 2015) engagement was called off a few months after she was caught in a steamed up car with a teenage boy
DelTondo had said that ‘she didn’t want her fiancé, Frank Catroppa (pictured) 36, to know that she was here parked because he would get mad’
Sheldon then told police that he drove two friends who were with him in his silver Nissan to their homes in Center Township and then drove to his own home in Aliquippa.
According to the affidavit, Sheldon told police that he was picked up by a woman, whose identity he wouldn’t reveal, and taken to his mother’s home -the address which he wouldn’t reveal.
He said his mother’s boyfriend, who he wouldn’t identify, drove him home at 10pm.
Sheldon showed police a text message that he had sent at 9.29pm to a number – believed to belong to Rachael DelTondo – which read ‘I wont go ok.’
The affidavit states that DelTondo, the female friend and Sheldon Jeter Jr ‘were known to each other and considered friends’.
It also states that the three were linked by a prior law enforcement investigation by the City of Aliquippa police.
A police review of surveillance footage from the Circle K convenience showed DelTondo arriving at the gas station in her female friend’s car.
Police were unable to locate Sheldon Jeter on the surveillance footage at the gas station.
They also believe that Sheldon’s assertion that he met with DelTondo at the Circle K to be false, according to the document.
Sheldon communicated with Tyrie about accompanying him, DelTondo and the other female to Hank’s Frozen Custard, investigators claimed in the affidavit.
The affidavit shows that the three friends were linked by a prior law enforcement investigation by the City of Aliquippa police
Attorney Michael Santicola told DailyMail.com: ‘I represent Sheldon Jeter. I have obtained a copy of the search warrant for my client.
‘He certainly is cooperating with any investigation because he had nothing to do with this tragic shooting. He has had a long standing relationship with the victim, so I think just by the mere fact that police are investigating every person possibly connected to her his name came up.’
In October 2017, school officials and members of the media received an anonymous email in containing the 2016 Aliquippa police incident report which implied she inappropriately met with a 17-year-old boy.
The report stated that officers were on patrol at around 1.50am on February 6, 2016, when they saw a car parked near the old Aliquippa Hospital.
Police noted that ‘the windows were steamed over and the engine was not running.’ Inside was DelTondo and the teen.
DelTondo reportedly told officers at the time that she was talking with a ‘former student.’
School CEO Brian Hayden said records show the teen was never a registered student at PA Cyber.
Lozier said this exposure was a ‘personal vendetta against’ DelTondo.
She said that ‘she didn’t want her fiancé, identified as Frank Catroppa, 36, to know that she was here parked because he would get mad.’
No charges were brought against DelTondo over the incident, and police drove the teen home that evening. The report was not public knowledge until the anonymous email was sent in October last year.
The school announced they were suspending her the following month.
The leak prompted a state police investigation into Aliquippa Police – which DelTondo cooperated with.