Mount Laurel man admits to killing wife, dumping her body in Maryland
Nearly one year after Mount Laurel woman Erica Crippen went missing, her husband has admitted to choking the 26-year-old mother to death on New Years Eve last year and dumping her body in a rural area of Maryland.
During an appearance in Burlington County Superior Court Tuesday, Kyle J. Crosby, 29, pleaded guilty to aggravated manslaughter and hindering apprehension as part of a plea deal, the Burlington County Prosecutor Robert D. Bernardi announced in a press release.
Under terms of the plea agreement, Bernardi said, Crosby will be sentenced to 28 years in state prison on the aggravated manslaughter charge. He will also serve three years on the hindering apprehension charge. The terms will run consecutively. Under the NJ No Early Release Act, Crosby will be required to serve 85 percent of the sentence for the homicide charge before he can apply for parole.
In addition to the charges against Crosby his mother, 68-year-old Jo Crosby of Sicklerville, was indicted in April on one count of hindering apprehension and one count of tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, the prosecutor said. She was released after posting $12,500 bail.
"As part of the plea agreement with Kyle Crosby, the charges against his mother will be dismissed at sentencing," the prosecutor said
Crosby will be sentenced on Feb. 4. He remains in Burlington County Jail on $1.2 million bail.
Crosby was charged Jan. 13 with one count of murder for causing Crippen's death. The woman had been had been missing since New Year’s Eve. He was taken into custody on Jan. 12 by officers from the Brooklawn Police Department following a traffic stop, which led to a foot chase.
Following at least three searches, Crippen's body was discovered March 17 by investigators in a rural area in Sykesville, Maryland. She was buried beneath a pile of branches in a grove of pine trees and was wrapped in a fleece blanket with her hands and feet bound with a cord that was also wrapped around her neck and duct tape across her mouth and nose, the prosecutor said.
Investigator located her remains by examining the GPS unit in Crosby's vehicle.
"More than 8,600 coordinates had been recorded by the GPS device. Investigators determined that Crosby had spent more time along Old Frederick Road in Carroll County than at other locations and concentrated the search in that area," Bernardi said.
Crippen and Crosby had two children, including a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and their 3-month-old daughter. Police learned of her disappearance after school officials contacted authorities when the mother failed to pick up her oldest daughter from school at the end of the day. Crosby signed a missing person report that same day "indicating he had not seen his wife since Jan. 1."
"Further investigation led to charges against Kyle Crosby filed on Jan. 10 for Endangering the Welfare of a Child due to the level of care he provided to the children in the absence of his wife. The existence of the charge allowed law enforcement officers to execute the traffic stop on Jan. 12 and detain Crosby," the prosecutor's press release states.
Toniann Antonelli is the digital managing editor at NJ 101.5. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @ToniRadio1015.