Deleted texts, smashed phone provide clues in ‘murder’ of elderly NJ woman
WASHINGTON BOROUGH — The man who told police he had been at the home of a friend's 84-year-old mother before she was found killed has been charged with first-degree murder.
Kyle P. Kaspereen, 24, of Easton, had tried to negotiate the sale of a motorcycle with Elaine Trachin's son before the robbery and slaying, officials said.
Trachin was found dead on the floor of the Wayne Street home she shared with her son William "Bart" Trachin, 52, on Nov. 30, according to Warren County Prosecutor James Pfeiffer.
William "Bart" Trachin, meanwhile, was found taped to a wheelchair with a garbage bag over his head. He had serious injuries after being hit in the head numerous times, according to the affidavit in the case.
The search history on Kaspereen's phone revealed searches for "how to track a phone" and "how do police investigate crimes," officials said.
Based on the younger Trachin's phone records, police on Dec. 1 contacted Kaspereen, who told officers that he had been at their home on Nov. 28 and also had communicated with William by phone about the sale of a motorcycle.
During a break in their interview, officers saw Kaspereen delete text messages from his phone, investigators said. Officials said Kaspereen acknowledged deleting the messages because they contradicted what he had told them.
He was charged that day with the destruction of evidence but he wasn't charged with murder until Dec. 9
Kaspereen is also now charged with first-degree attempted murder, kidnapping and robbery, second-degree burglary and fourth-degree tampering with evidence. He was being held Friday in the Warren County Correctional Center pending a detention hearing.
Deleted messages and information recovered
The affidavit says investigators were able to recover the deleted texts and information from Kaspereen's phone and found it had been pinging at or near the Trachin home on Wayne Street at the time of the attack.
The search history on Kaspereen's phone also revealed searches for "how to track a phone," "how to withdrawal (sic) on a credit card without putting in a PIN," "how cops can identify you" and "how do police investigate crimes," according to the affidavit. The searches were made after the attack but before the slaying was made public.
Police said William Trachin's phone and Elaine Trachin's wallet were missing from the home.
Throwing away evidence
A person who gave Kaspereen a ride on the night of the attack later told police that Kaspereen seemed "nervous and upset.”
Police said the car picked up Kaspereen near the victims' home and dropped him off near the Free Bridge between Phillipsburg and Easton, Pennsylvania.
Video surveillance shows Kaspereen dropping William Trachin's phone into the Delaware River after smashing it, investigators said. It was later recovered by a dive team.
Police said they also found a trash bag similar to one on William Trachin's head and an empty box for a BB pistol at Kaspereen's Easton apartment. The pistol has not been recovered.