POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) – Police made an arrest Wednesday in the murder of a college student who was killed five months ago in Hyde Park. Police said 23-year-old Stephen Shand killed 18-year-old Kathryn Filiberti back in March.
Police charged Shand with homicide and a grand jury began hearing evidence Thursday. An indictment and more details about the case are expected next week.
“We believe that Mr. Shand and Ms. Filiberti did not know each other and there is not evidence of premeditation at this time,” said Dutchess County Sheriff Adrian Anderson.
A poignant memorial marks the spot where Filiberti’s body was found on March 19th. Her friends called her “Kate,” but her death made sense to no one.
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“Everybody was devastated, you couldn’t believe it. That it would happen in a small town like this,” Dutchess County resident Jack Edelheiser told CBS 2′s Tony Aiello.
“I go running on the trails a lot around town, and I wasn’t allowed to because no one knew who it was,” Courtney Fox said.
Police believe Shand encountered Filiberti while he was driving on his early morning newspaper delivery route in Hyde Park while he was working for the Poughkeepsie Journal. Filiberti was walking home from a house party at the time.
“His paper route is between the hours of 3 a.m. and 6 a.m. and that coincides with what we believe was the time Ms. Filiberti was killed,” said Anderson.
During the 5 month investigation, all kinds of stories were flying through the close-knit community. They prompted unusual public denials of involvement from rumored suspects, including Filiberti’s boyfriend and a Town of Hyde Park police officer.
Investigators kept pressing, tracking down everyone who might have been on Green Tree Road in the overnight hours. Police say the body of the 18-year-old Dutchess Community College student was found a day later in a nearby park.
Residents who live near Shand’s home in Hyde Park say he lives there with his parents and several children. No one seemed to know much about the family because residents said they keep to themselves.
Police arrested Shand Wednesday morning at the end of his delivery route. Investigators say Shand’s car has been taken into evidence. They promptly told Filiberti’s family who are still dealing with the pain of losing their daughter, a talented gymnast known for her big smile and generous spirit.
“While this case is not yet 5-months-old and the wounds have not had time to heal, this development has surely reopened up those wounds and will continue to do so as the prosecution stage begins to move forward,” said Chief Charles Broe of the Hyde Park Police Department.
Police wouldn’t say how they identified Shand as a suspect, only saying they had their eyes on him for quite some time. The teenage boy who found Filiberti’s body came to the Dutchess County police headquarters to hear officials speak about the case. He told CBS 2′s Kristin Thorne that he wanted to see everything come full circle.
Shand is being held without bail.
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