Teacher, who was fired for allegedly being in a relationship with 17-year-old boy, dies in hail of gunfire outside her mom's house
A female teacher accused of an "inappropriate relationship" with a male pupil has died in a hail of bullets on her mother's driveway
A female teacher in Pennsylvania was shot and killed in a hail of gunfire which transpired into a gruesome murder, according to law enforcement. However, the case is not as simple as it looks.
32-year-old Rachael DelTondo, a school teacher from Aliquippa in Pennsylvania, was returning to her mother's residence after getting ice cream for her on Mother’s Day, Sunday.
As soon as DelTondo alighted from her vehicle, an assailant reportedly fired several shots right into her torso on the driveway outside her family’s Aliquippa home, killing her instantly.
According to KDKA, the Beaver County Coroner’s Office ruled the teacher’s death a homicide and said that she died of multiple gunshot wounds.
At least six shots were fired, according to a nearby resident who allegedly heard the bullets.
Fred Poore, a neighbor, told KDKA about the shooting: “I counted six shots that I heard." However, many neighbors claimed that they heard up to 12 shots in total.
Law enforcement authorities are looking for the suspect, but have not released a description as of Tuesday. A cell phone is being investigated by authorities for information on the killer.
The murder looks markedly suspicious owing to the fact that six months before her death, DelTondo was suspended from the school where she taught. Back in February 2016, she was reportedly seen in a steamed-up car with a 17-year-old boy.
In October last year, an email was sent to school officials from an anonymous source, tipping them off about the 2016 incident. According to the email, DelTondo was allegedly in a "relationship" with the said male, said the police report.
In a conversation with WPXI, the mother of a former Aliquippa High School student spoke about an incident involving DelTondo and the woman's 16-year-old son.
DelTondo was not charged but she reportedly told police the boy had called her because "he was upset and needed someone to talk to." She maintained that they were friends and that she didn't want her fiance to know about the meeting.
After several months following the police discovery, DelTondo's wedding was called off due to the incident in 2016.
According to multiple reports, the police information remained confidential until October when the anonymous source sent the email to DelTondo's school. After receiving the tip, the school suspended DelTondo for a month.
Following that, local law enforcement launched an investigation into the leak of information, and the teacher reportedly cooperated with the probe.
Having said that, it is too early to link the incident with the 17-year-old to her murder, said authorities.
DelTondo was an elementary school teacher at an online public school in Midland called the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School.
Brian Hayden, the school's CEO, told Fox News that she was suspended after school officials received the anonymous email about her alleged involvement with the underage boy, who was not a part of Pennsylvania Cyber.
Hayden told Fox News that the school immediately reported the incident to the police and placed the teacher on paid suspension until the investigation would end.
"We were saddened to learn of the tragic death of Rachel DelTondo, apparently the result of a violent incident in the City of Aliquippa. We have no additional information beyond what is being reported by local media," Hayden said in a statement. "We express our sympathy to her family and coworkers and will support them in any way possible in the weeks and months ahead as they mourn her passing."
DelTondo had been teaching for almost 10 years at Pennsylvania Cyber at the time of her death.
Back in February 2017, DelTondo and her family were in the news once again after a snafu in the bridal shop which was assisting her with the wedding planning.
Before the incident with the teenager went public, DelTondo attempted to purchase the $10,000 wedding dress for which she had paid the deposit so that she could resell it, as her wedding was already called off by then.
A non-refundable deposit of $4,600 was allegedly paid to the bridal store by DelTondo's family.
DelTondo told the bridal shop that she wanted to pay off the remainder of the balance on the dress for resale. However, she never received the dress from the store.
Her family decided to take the shop to court and they refunded the deposit to DelTondo subsequently.