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Pennsylvania Man Who Allegedly Handcuffed, Stabbed Estranged Wife Extradited From West Virginia
Court records show that William Fitzgerald, who was arrested on Monday in West Virginia for allegedly killing his estranged wife, Tarae Washington, in her Pennsylvania home, has been extradited in the case.
A Pennsylvania man has been returned to Pennsylvania after his arrest in West Virginia for allegedly handcuffing and then fatally stabbing his estranged wife in her home last week.
Court records reviewed by Oxygen.com show that William L. Fitzgerald, 50, was in the custody of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania on Friday. He was arrested in Morgantown, West Virginia on Monday for the murder of his estranged wife, Tarae Washington, as previously reported by Oxygen.com.
He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on charges of criminal homicide on Jan. 27. No counsel is yet listed for him.
Washington was found handcuffed, bloodied and unresponsive in the kitchen of her Pittsburgh home by her father shortly before 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 5. He called police, telling dispatchers that his daughter “had been stabbed, is beyond help and it was not self-inflicted,” and she was pronounced dead of multiple stab wounds at the scene.
Investigators found significant quantities of blood throughout both floors of the home as well as outside of it, and a silver carving knife was seized from a shelf on the second-floor hallway.
According to a criminal complaint, detectives suspect that Fitzgerald handcuffed Washington before he stabbed her to death.
Washington had filed for divorce from Fitzgerald in November, court records show, and it was set to be finalized in February. Witnesses told detectives that Fitzgerald wanted to reconcile with his estranged wife before her murder, but Washington “was not interested,” per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
Fitzgerald allegedly implicated himself in his wife’s murder in series of text messages, including one in which he texted a witness non-public photos of Washington and another man during a recent trip to Baltimore.
"This is why she wasn’t answering her phone in Baltimore," he allegedly captioned the pictures.
He allegedly sent the same photos to another witness, who then accused him of killing her.
“Fitzgerald replies to the [witness’] accusations three times within the text message string,” the complaint stated. “Fitzgerald does not make any attempt to assert his innocence in the replies.”
The complaint also alleges that Fitzgerald texted a third witness a picture of Washington’s dead body around 7:00 a.m. on the morning that her father found her body, along with the message, "this what y'all got her."
Washington’s family members are now raising money to help cover funeral expenses on GoFundMe.
"We can't put into words the heartbreak we feel at the loss of our beautiful mom," her children Mirayah and Meleke King said on the fundraiser.
They described the 47-year-old as a devoted and loving mother who uplifted their family.
"She gave so much of herself to us, to her grandkids, to all of her family and friends,” they added. “Her spirit shined like the morning sun, warming those who saw her and spreading joy and hope. It hurts to even write that she's gone."
Oxygen.com reached out to the Pittsburgh Police Department for further comment.