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Man Who Searched 'How To Get Away With Murder' Admits To Killing Wife, Prosecutors Say

Prosecutors said Stephen Capaldi led investigators to the partial remains of his wife earlier this month after insisting for months that he had not played any role in her death.

By Jill Sederstrom
Husbands Who Killed Their Wives

A Pennsylvania man has been charged with killing his wife of 30 years, then dismembering her body in the home they shared together and scattering her remains across the Greater Philadelphia area.

Stephen Michael Capaldi, 57, is facing charges of third-degree murder, possessing an instrument of crime, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, abuse of a corpse and obstructing the administration of justice as part of a negotiated agreement with the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office in exchange for leading authorities to his wife’s partial remains, according to a press conference from District Attorney Matt Weintraub.

“It is anticipated by me that he will plead guilty to these offenses and be sentenced to 20 to 30 years in prison,” Weintraub said. “The earliest that he will be eligible for parole under the terms of his agreement will be when he is 77-years-old.”

Weintraub said he made the agreement after consulting with Elizabeth Capaldi’s family, who were supportive of the arrangement.

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“This negotiated resolution will now allow Beth Capaldi’s family to grieve on their own terms knowing that we did all we could do to find her and ultimately bring her home,” he said.

Elizabeth, 55, disappeared from her Sellersville home on Oct. 10.

Police handouts of Beth and Stephen Capaldi

She was reported missing by her daughter Emma two days later after Emma was unable to reach her mother, who she described as a “homebody,” according to a report from the Bucks County Investigating Grand Jury.

“She had never traveled anywhere overnight alone, and it was extremely unlike her not to reach out to her daughter, who was her best friend,” the report stated.

Stephen told his daughter he hadn’t seen Elizabeth in several days and told her he noticed $13,000 was missing from the home along with some of his wife’s cosmetics and clothing. However, her iPhone, iPad, car keys, vehicle and birth certificate had all been left behind. She had also never picked up a refill for her prescription inhaler at a local pharmacy and there was no activity on her credit cards or bank accounts, according to the report.

Stephen allegedly initially told investigators that his wife had been “unhappy in their marriage” and that he believed she had gone off to the beach or somewhere to be alone, according to the court records.

However, investigators said they later discovered that Stephen had been carrying on an affair with another woman for six months and found internet searches on his phone for terms like “how to get away with murder,” “can you avoid detection by turning off your phone,” “how to control your dark impulses” and “how to disappear and never be found,” according to the grand jury report.

Stephen continued to insist he had not killed his wife and appeared before the grand jury on Dec. 8. However, the grand jury concluded that his testimony was “not credible” and he also failed a polygraph administered during a break from testimony.

After the grand jury concluded, Stephen approached the district attorney’s office through his attorney to broker the deal and agreed to take investigators to an area in Delaware County along the Delaware River shore line where he had buried a portion of the remains, which were later recovered and positively identified as Elizabeth, according to the court records.

Investigators now believe that Stephen killed his wife the morning of Oct. 10 as she slept in bed by strangling her and using a pillow to suffocate her, according to the report. It’s then alleged that her carried her body down to the basement, where he dismembered her and set out depositing the remains throughout the Greater Philadelphia area, including in an apartment complex dumpster that was later emptied and taken to a landfill.

Weintraub said investigators are still working to recover more of the remains.

“We owe it to this family to try to recover Beth Capaldi,” he said.

He added that investigators are still working to determine the exact motive in the case.

“We are not yet satisfied that we know of the motive,” he said. “The investigation is ongoing.”

While Elizabeth’s family has asked for privacy in light of the tragedy, her daughter Emma took to Facebook Sunday to share photos and a video of her mother.

“My beautiful mother is gone from this world,” she wrote. “She made me who I am. She touched so many people.”

Stephen is currently being held behind bars without bond in Bucks County.