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Prosecutors on Thursday announced they’re reopening the investigation into the unsolved murder of Elizabeth Faria, the former best friend of “monster” and convicted killer Pamela Hupp.
Hupp, 60, was sentenced to life in prison without parole in August for the 2016 killing of Louis Gumenberger, a man with mental disabilities, who she fatally shot in an attempt to frame him as a hitman to allegedly cover up the murder of her best friend “Betsy” Faria. Officials announced this week Hupp’s now a suspect in the unsolved killing of her former pal.
Faria had been found knifed to death on Dec. 27, 2011. The woman had suffered 55 stab wounds, according to PEOPLE.com. Her husband Russell was initially arrested and convicted in connection with her killing, but was acquitted two years later.
Lincoln County prosecutors said that Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis will oversee the investigation with assistance from St. Charles Police Department, according to KTVI, a Fox station in St. Louis.
“The Lincoln County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office is dedicated to providing the Faria family and this community with an honest and unbiased investigation into the murder of Elizabeth “Betsy” Faria,” said Lincoln County Prosecutor Mike Wood in a press release. “We are confident that these steps will lead to a successful and timely completion of our furtherance of this case.”
However, law enforcement recently learned that a mountain of evidence in the form of recorded interviews Hupp had given Lincoln County authorities, where she gave inconsistent statements regarding her alibi, were somehow now missing.
Oxygen.com was unable to reach Lincoln County prosecutors for comment.
Hupp took an Alfred plea earlier this year, which allowed her to dodge the death penalty. The 60-year-old acknowledged prosecutors had sufficient evidence to convict her but she didn’t technically admit she was guilty.
The killing of Gumpenberger, authorities argued, was a complex plot orchestrated by Hupp to deflect blame from the killing of Faria, which was later pinned on the dead woman’s husband PEOPLE.com also reported.
“[Hupp] is going to spend the rest of her life where she deserves to spend it,” Tim Lohmar, St. Charles County’s prosecuting attorney told Oxygen.com in August.
“She’s certainly capable of being a monster,” Lohmar added. “In this case, we saw the devious nature and the lengths she went to cover up her crimes. It’s hard to imagine a human being being capable of that.”
In court, Grumpenberger’s half-sister famously called referred to Hupp as a serial killing “monster,” PEOPLE.com also reported.
At the time, authorities said Hupp shot the man while she was on the phone with emergency dispatchers, claiming that the the Missouri man was an intruder who followed her home. She supposedly then planted a fake kidnapping note that implicated her best friend’s husband Russell. Gumpenberger, police said, had cognitive disabilities and was lured by Hupp into her vehicle after she pretended to be a producer for NBC. She later drove him to her home where the shooting occurred.
“The subject was not armed with a weapon when he was shot by Hupp,” a probable cause statement obtained by Oxygen.com stated. “She said she shot him until the gun stopped firing, remembering that she heard the gun ‘click’ multiple times,” it added.
Hupp, who was reportedly the last person to see Elizabeth alive, supposedly stood to cash in on a $150,000 life insurance policy in her name.
Authorities also revealed earlier this year that they’re re-investigating the mysterious death of Hupp’s mother Shirley Neumann, who supposedly fell to her death from a third-floor balcony in 2013, according to KMOV. Hupp was reportedly the last person to see her alive.
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