In Pennsylvania last week, a man was accused of both raping and killing his ex-girlfriend’s 12-year-old daughter and concealing the body in a freezer.
Jason Shackelford, 39, confessed to the heinous crime after police had been called to a domestic disturbance in a Lancaster hotel between him and the girl’s mother.
He reportedly told the police that he had attacked and murdered the girl, later identified as Elaina Smith, in the Columbia home of her mother on the night of Wednesday, Feb 8, while the mother was working a night shift.
The mother claimed that Shackelford and herself were breaking up, and she had recently asked him to move out.
The mother also shared with police that she received a text from Shackelford while at work around 6:35 a.m. on Feb 9 saying Elaina was sick and in bed.
When the mother returned home from work around 7:45 a.m., she and Shackelford got into an argument, and he showed her Elaina’s empty bed.
According to the mother, Shackelford told her that he had taken Elaina to New York and that she was safe. The mother stated that Shackelford raped her before he forced her to accompany him to the Wyndham Lancaster hotel.
Once at the hotel, Shackelford allegedly used Elaina’s well-being as leverage and sexually assaulted the mother again before allowing her to go smoke a cigarette. It was then that the mother alerted the hotel staff to call the police.
Columbia Police Detective Matthew Leddy filed charges against Shackelford. Further charges may be brought against him depending on the results of an autopsy and further investigation.
After being taken into custody, he admitted to killing Elaina, and her body was found in a freezer in the basement of the home. The autopsy report revealed that Elaina was strangled to death.
Shackelford has been charged with criminal homicide, and more charges are expected to be filed as the investigation continues.
Shackelford is a registered sex offender who was given a five-year probation sentence after pleading guilty to indecent assault, terroristic threats, and simple assault in December 2019.