PA Husband Charged With Strangling, Dismembering Wife, Allegedly Searched 'How to Get Away With Murder': DA

Missing Pennsylvania Mom
Beth Capaldi. Handout

Beth Capaldi was reported missing in October. This week, prosecutors charged her husband with murder after he allegedly took investigators to a site where he had dumped some of her remains.

The husband of a missing Pennsylvania woman allegedly strangled his wife in their bed, then dismembered her and dumped her remains in several locations, prosecutors said Thursday.

Beth Capaldi had been reported missing in October by her daughter. Her husband, Stephen Capaldi, had initially told investigators he had no idea what happened to his wife of 30 years, authorities said.

Capaldi, 57, has been charged with third-degree murder, possession of an instrument of crime, tampering with evidence, obstruction of justice and abuse of a corpse, Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub told reporters Thursday.

He is being held without bail at the Bucks County Jail.

The husband dropped some of her remains in a dumpster in Montgomery County, and buried others in a swampy area near the Philadelphia International Airport, authorities said. Last week, Capaldi was taken to the latter site, "where he led law enforcement voluntarily to where he believed he had buried his wife's remains," Weintraub said. 

"If I had some magic time machine, and I could turn back the clock to prior to Beth Capaldi's murder, I would do so every time, but that's not how our universe works," the prosecutor said. 

A damning, 12-page grand jury report alleged Capaldi continuously lied while being questioned under oath about his wife's disappearance. Grand jurors reviewed evidence presented to them by law enforcement, the report said, including searches found on Capaldi's cellphone.

The searches included "how to get away with murder," "can a polygraph be skewed," "how to control your dark impulses" and "how to disappear and never be found," the report said.

Authorities say Capaldi killed his wife on the morning of Oct. 10 while she was sleeping in their bed. He allegedly choked her and used a pillow to smother her, investigators said.

He moved her body from the master bedroom to their basement, where he dismembered her and dumped her remains two days later across Bucks County, about 40 miles north of Philadelphia, the prosecutor said.

Capaldi acknowledged killing his wife and agreed last week to plead guilty to reduced charges of third-degree murder and to help investigators locate her remains, the grand jury report said. Weintraub said Thursday that Capaldi is expected to plead guilty and could face 20 to 40 years in prison.

“This negotiated resolution will now allow Beth Capaldi’s family to grieve on their own terms, knowing that we did all we could do to find her and ultimately to bring her home," Weintraub said.

Beth Capaldi was reported missing by her daughter, Emma, Oct. 12, just two days after she was last seen at the home she shared with her husband, authorities said. Her cellphone, keys and car were found in the house, but her purse and wallet were gone, investigators said.

Stephen Capaldi told investigators he had recently learned his wife was having an affair, but did not question her about it, the grand jury report said. Police found no evidence she was having a relationship outside her marriage after searching her phone and online accounts, authorities said.

Instead, the grand jury report said, investigators found evidence that Stephen Capaldi had been having a six-month affair. Information on his cellphone showed he had visited his mistress on the day his wife was reported missing, the report said.

"The Grand Jury extends its most sincere sympathy to the victim's family and hopes that Elizabeth Capaldi's remains can be brought back to them," the report concludes. "We also hope that Stephen Capaldi, given his deceit and total lack of remorse, remains incarcerated for the rest of his natural-born life."

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