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Pittsburgh Man Arrested For Estranged Wife's Murder Allegedly Texted Friend A Picture Of Her Body

William Fitzgerald was arrested in West Virginia on Monday and is charged with homicide in connection with the killing of his estranged wife, Tarae Washington, last week.

By Megan Carpentier
Husbands Who Killed Their Wives

A Pittsburgh man sought in the brutal stabbing death of his estranged wife last week has been apprehended in West Virginia.

A warrant for the arrest of William Fitzgerald, 50, in the death of his estranged wife, Tarae Washington, 47, was issued on on Friday, Pittsburgh police said in a press release. He was arrested 75 miles away in Morgantown, West Virginia on Monday.

Police were called to Washington's home shortly before 7:00 p.m on Thursday, Jan. 5 by her father, according to a police press release and a criminal complaint in the case obtained by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Her father had gone to the home after work because he hadn't heard from her all day, and told the 911 dispatcher that she "had been stabbed, is beyond help and it was not self-inflicted," according to the criminal complaint. 

First responders found Washington's handcuffed body in the kitchen with multiple stab wounds, and pronounced her dead at the scene. 

A police handout of William Fitzgerald

Police investigators called to investigate found a silver carving knife on a shelf in a hallway on the second floor. They found blood throughout the home, including in: Washington's kitchen, living room and dining room; in the stairwell leading to the second floor; throughout the second floor hallway; and all around her bathroom, including on the walls, floor and in her bathtub.

They also found blood on a second floor windowsill and outside the home, on bricks leading to the roof of the home's porch, according to the documents obtained by the Post-Gazette.

Washington had filed for divorce from Fitzgerald on Nov. 1, and it was due to be finalized in February. A witness told police that Fitzgerald had tried to reconcile with the victim, but she was "not interested."

Police also discovered that Fitzgerald had sent several text messages around the time of the murder.

In one series of messages, Fitzgerald allegedly send several non-public selfies his ex had taken with another  man on a recent trip to Baltimore, with the message, "This is why she wasn’t answering her phone in Baltimore."

He allegedly send the same photos to a second witness, who immediately accused him of killing his ex.

"Fitzgerald replies to the accusations three times within the text message string," police wrote in the criminal complaint obtained by the Post-Gazette. "Fitzgerald does not make any attempt to assert his innocence in the replies."

Around 7:00 a.m. on Jan. 6 — 12 hours before her father found Washington's body — a third witness also allegedly received a text from Fitzgerald.

"This what y’all got her," police allege he wrote. It was allegedly accompanied by a photo of Washington's dead body.

Fitzgerald is currently being held on a fugitive warrant at the North Central Regional Jail and Correctional Facility in Greenwood, West Virginia, pending extradition, according to jail records reviewed by Oxygen.com. It is unclear if he has an attorney.