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Man Confesses To Killing And Dismembering Wife During Vermont Road Trip
Despite his confession to the killing, Joseph Ferlazzo's lawyer entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday.
Vermont State Police announced on Tuesday that they have arrested a New Hampshire man for killing and dismembering his wife while they were on vacation.
Joseph Ferlazzo, 41, has been charged with first-degree murder in the death of his 22-year-old wife, Emily Ferlazzo, and is being held without bond in the Northwest State Correctional Facility in St. Albans, Vermont. His lawyer entered a plea of not guilty at his arraignment on Wednesday, according to Fox News.
However, at a press conference on Tuesday night, Vermont State Maj. Dan Trudeau announced that Ferlazzo had confessed to the murder and helped police find his wife's body.
"The information he provided was that he had killed his wife, Emily," Trudeau told reporters. "He said that he had done so in the town of Bolton in the early Saturday morning hours."
Emily Ferlazzo's family had called the state police on Monday night to say they were concerned for her safety, according to a Tuesday press release. She had, they said, been staying in an Airbnb in the small, ski-centric town of Bolton — about 35 miles east of Burlington and Lake Champlain — for the couple's one-year wedding anniversary, according to Fox News. However, her family told police, her husband had told them that the two had an argument and she'd exited their vehicle and began walking on Rt. 2. The vehicle was a camper van that the two had converted, according to the Saint Albans Messenger.
Joseph Ferlazzo told his in-laws that he continued driving to a convenience store in Bolton and, when he returned, she was gone.
Police launched a search to find Emily Ferlazzo that night.
State police announced midday on Tuesday that they were now looking for Joseph Ferlazzo and the couple's dog, Remington; they termed her disappearance "suspicious." Police had been unable to locate Joseph Ferlazzo, who had last been seen in St. Albans — about 55 miles northwest of Bolton — near the property, owned by a friend of Joseph Ferlazzo, where police located the couple's camper van.
Later, a detective with the state police stopped at a Maplefields convenience store in St. Albans for lunch and recognized Joseph Ferlazzo.
"[He] just approached him and confirmed that’s who he was and asked if he would be willing to come back and he was more than willing to come back," explained Trudeau.
According to police, Joseph Ferlazzo accompanied the detective to the St. Albans barracks, where he confessed to the murder and dismemberment of his wife. According to an affidavit of probable cause reviewed by the AP, Joseph Ferlazzo told them that he and his wife had had a argument in the camper in the early hours of Saturday that became physical. He claimed that his wife had hit and kicked him, but stopped and went to lay down on one of the camper's beds.
Ferlazzo told police he waited 5-10 minutes, grabbed his handgun, "jumped on top" of his wife and shot her twice in the head. He said he subsequently suffered an anxiety attack, put a garbage bag over his wife's head, and moved her corpse to the camper bathroom.
Later on Saturday morning, he told police, he drove their camper to his friend's house in Saint Albans, where — about 12-15 hours after he killed his wife — he dismembered her body with a handsaw and placed the parts in garbage bags, which remained in the camper.
Trudeau said that n the basis of Ferlazzo's confession police were able to obtain a search warrant for the camper, which they'd located earlier on Tuesday.
"We did find human remains in that van tonight which we believe will be Emily's," he told reporters on Tuesday.
The probable cause affidavit reviewed by Fox News said there were eight bags of remains recovered in the van, along with the gun and saw they suspect he used to dismember his wife's body.
Police also said there was "a history of domestic violence within the relationship" and she has been seen with scratches and bruises.
Police announced on Wednesday that, following an autopsy, the remains were confirmed to be Emily Ferlazzo and that her death was from "gunshot wounds to the head." It was classified a homicide.
Remington had been left with one of Joseph Ferlazzo's friends.
"It’s very tragic and our thoughts and prayers certainly go out to the friends and family of Emily," Trudeau said on Tuesday.