Arrest made in murder of pregnant Amish woman

Spartansburg, Pa. (WJET/WFXP) — State police have announced the arrest of 52-year-old Shawn C. Cranston, of Corry, PA, in the killing of 23-year-old Rebekah Byler.

Cranston is being charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass. He was arraigned just before 4:30 a.m. Saturday and is currently being held without bail at the Crawford County Jail.

Cranston’s preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 15.

The arrest comes after an exhaustive five-day-long investigation. Police were first called to the Byler family residence in the 21000 block of Fish Flats Road in Sparta Twp. on Feb. 26 around 12:26 p.m. after Rebekah’s husband, Andy, and another person returned to the home and found her unresponsive.

According to the affidavit of probable cause released on March 1, a cut was found on Rebekah’s neck as well as a scalping wound on her head. Troopers also reported she was six months pregnant at the time of her death.

After arriving, police cleared the residence and later received a search warrant of the residence, outbuildings and surrounding area of the property based on the evidence.

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