National News

Arrest made in murder of pregnant Amish woman found dead in her Pennsylvania home

todayMarch 2, 2024


Douglas Sacha/Getty Images/STOCK

(SPARTANSBURG, Pa.) — Police have announced an arrest in connection to the death of 23-year-old pregnant Rebekah Byler that has shaken an Amish community in Pennsylvania.

The Pennsylvania State Police announced early Saturday morning that Shawn Cranston — a 52-year-old man from Corry, Pennsylvania — has been arrested in connection with the murder of the Amish woman and is now facing multiple charges, including criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass.

Cranston was arraigned Saturday morning and is currently being held without bond at the Crawford County Jail.

On Feb. 26, police responded to a home in Sparta Township, where they found Byler dead, according to Pennsylvania State Police. Byler’s cause of death has not been released.

Sparta Township is a small township in Crawford County, just outside of the borough of Spartansburg and about 35 miles southeast of Erie, Pennsylvania.

“Everyone is stunned — this doesn’t happen here,” Charleen Hajec, a pharmacist who was born and raised in Spartansburg, told ABC News. “Everyone is talking. It’s scary and frustrating.”

Hajec said she couldn’t believe a murder would happen in Sparta Township, which she called a “tight-knit community.”

“The outside world doesn’t get in,” Hajec said. “To have something this tragic … it doesn’t happen here.”

ABC News’ Emily Shapiro and Stephanie Ramos contributed to this report.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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