The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

December 10, 2013

Some pals defending 2 suspects in murder

COATS, N.C. — Some of those who know Elytte Barbour from days as recent as early October are stunned that he is charged in connection with a brutal Valley murder, according to up-to-the-minute posts on Facebook. Others angrily defend him in profanity-laced writings.

In Coats, a central North Carolina town of 2,200 with two traffic lights, Elytte Barbour and his new wife, the former Miranda Dean — were quite well-known by their friends.

On Sunday, national and international media joined The Daily Item in reporting on the Barbours’ alleged crime — of luring and stabbing to death 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara, of Port Trevorton, on Nov. 11, the day of their three-week wedding anniversary, because they “wanted to kill someone together.”

That’s when those who knew them in North Carolina began to speak out on social media.

Elytte Barbour was nicknamed “Odd” or “Elf,” a name given to him by friends, his former girlfriend and the mother of his child told The Daily Item on Saturday.

“Wish people would stop spreading this ... all over Facebook,” Daniel Craig Wilson posted. “Yes, what he did was horrible, but come on. Every time his family gets on Facebook they’re reminded. I do feel sorry for the victim’s family and his family as well. In my opinion, if you didn’t know him, you have no right to say anything about him.”

Wilson went on: “Just because you had a class with him doesn’t mean you know him. Criticize me and give me ... for this post. See how many ... I give.”

Friends say Elytte and Miranda left Coats in late October, married Oct. 22 in Lillington, N.C., then headed to Selinsgrove to celebrate Elytte’s 22nd birthday — Nov. 11 — with a Valley friend.

On Nov. 11, police say, Miranda Barbour and LaFerrara met in the Susquehanna Valley Mall after making initial contact through Craigslist. LaFerrara took a seat in Miranda’s red Honda sport utility vehicle. At some point, police say, Elytte — hidden under a blanket in the back seat — wrapped a cable around LaFerrara’s neck as Miranda plunged a knife 20 times into the married engineer.

They then left LaFerrara for dead near a Sunbury alley, and went off to a Harrisburg strip club to celebrate Elytte’s birthday, police said.

Miranda was arrested Dec. 3 and Elytte, on Friday night.

By Saturday morning, as the nearly unbelievable details were gaining national and worldwide media coverage, major television networks and tabloid newspapers turned their attention to Sunbury.

Fox News, CNN and newspapers such as The New York Post began contacting Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo, seeking information on what they were calling “The honeymoon killers.”

Said Mazzeo: “I knew they (national media) would all be calling. We are in the middle of this investigation and our focus is on that. We appreciate the media, but we have our jobs to do.”

By Sunday afternoon, as a CNN reporter based in New York began live broadcasts outside The Daily Item, several Coats residents and friends of the Barbours began to sound off on Facebook.

“If everyone could just, out of respect, stop posting articles about Elyette and Miranda, it would really nice,” one poster said. “No one has any idea how or what exactly transpired. No one posting all of this ... on Facebook was there.

“Information gets misconstrued all of the time, especially in cases like this one. No one has any idea what kind of circumstances these young adults were put in and why they were doing the things they were, but it isn’t anyone else’s concern.

“No one here back at home should be making any judgments about their character or who they were, or have become as people. I will never understand why everyone is so interested in spreading such hateful news.

“And in this time of confusion and sadness I just hope everyone remembers what these people really were like. A friend of mine, willing to go down and take the rap for anyone, someone so soft-spoken and respectful, someone kind and generous, open-minded and intelligent.

“I don’t care what any article says, because they’re all biased and aimed to sell. I only ever knew Elyette as a good person, and I can’t come up with anything negative to say about him. “Just remember what you do know, and please don’t be so quick to believe everything written on the subject.”

Tyler Bass, who posted that he went to school with Elytte Barbour, wrote: “Honestly don’t know what to think about this. Elytte graduated from high school with me and went to Campbell. He was strange sometimes, but I never thought he would do anything like this.”

Another post: “HOLY ...!!! Like Elliot Elf Man?”

In one post, a Cassi Blevens appeared to be shocked.

“Literally can’t believe what’s going on,” she wrote. “It’s number 3 on CNN right now. It’s so crazy and surreal. I can’t believe it ... I used to live with Elf. Miranda baby-sat for me before. I hung out with these people. We played board games and watched TV and played Castle Crashers. We ate dinner together. Our children played together. What happened to Elytte? The person in those pictures and videos is NOT Elytte Barbour.

“I don’t where he went, but he’s gone.”

The town of Coats is stunned that one of its own would be linked to such a horrific crime.

“Wow,” a man posted. “I know his family. They are good people. This is just something that just doesn’t even sound real.”

Travis Stephens, who claimed to be Ellyte Barbour’s best friend, wrote hours after Miranda was arrested and three days before Elytte Barbour was nabbed: “The few people I love mean everything to me. No matter the wrong doings they might have done. I really hope the best for them.”

On Sunday, with Elytte behind bars in Columbia County, Stephens posted: “This is the only status I will make about this. I’ve been told by not only one but several people that I am trying to make this situation about myself.

“Elytte was my best friend. We went through hell and back together. I love him despite his cruel actions. And If I want to post something nostalgic reminding me of better days for comfort then I ... can and you think I am trying to get attention by any posts OR this status! You can go ... yourself and get the hell out of my life. His family is my family I don’t give a ... about genetics. This has been a public service announcement.”

Elytte Barbour is expected in court on Dec. 17.

 

1
Text Only
News
  • Prize claim cost man $1,829

    WINFIELD — Western Union is doing what it can to educate people about the risks in wiring money. An entire section on its website (www.westernunion.com) is devoted to providing information that might reduce the risk of people falling victim to fraud schemes.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Reel good time enjoyed by 200 young anglers

    TREVORTON — It only took about three minutes for J.C. Wallish to reel in his first fish at the Little Shamokin Creek Watershed Association’s annual Youth Trout Derby on Saturday.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Elytte Barbour's 'bad trip' put him on the road to prison, friend says

    SUNBURY — A former roommate of slaying suspect Elytte Barbour drove 450 miles from North Carolina to spend 45 minutes in the Northumberland County Prison with his best friend last week, and was not surprised when he heard Barbour say: “I am afraid to spend the rest of my life in jail.”

    April 19, 2014

  • bonehunt20a.jpg 60 dogs battle for biscuits at annual bone hunt

    It was a scene similar to ones playing out all over the nation this weekend: nervous parents holding baskets and bags, watching their little ones search for goodies in the grass.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Arizona tribe set to prosecute first non-Indian under a new law

    PASCUA YAQUI INDIAN RESERVATION, Ariz. — Tribal police chief Michael Valenzuela drove through darkened desert streets, turned into a Circle K convenience store and pointed to the spot beyond the reservation line where his officers used to take the non-Indian men who battered Indian women.
     

    April 19, 2014

  • Danville parents hope strike ends quickly

    DANVILLE ““ First-grader Madison Wild was sad she missed school Thursday.

    April 19, 2014

  • Schools ask state to waive 180-day rule

    Three area school districts have asked the Pennsylvania Department of Education to add up their hours instead of their days in order to reach the required amount of instruction time in the school year.

    April 19, 2014

  • Former Bucknell star in NBA playoffs

    ATLANTA — It really hit Mike Muscala a few days ago when he was listening to the Nets’ starting lineup at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

    April 19, 2014

  • State: Discard raw milk from Greenfield Dairy

    MIDDLEBURG — Consumers should discard raw milk purchased recently from the Greenfield Dairy of Middleburg, which also has temporarily suspended production after Listeria monocytogenes was discovered in the product following routine testing, the state Department of Agriculture announced today.

    April 18, 2014

  • Penn State police: Three posed nude at Nittany shrine

    STATE COLLEGE — Penn State police say three male students who reportedly posed nude for a photo at the university’s Nittany Lion Shrine face school discipline.

    April 18, 2014

The Daily Marquee
Poll

How do you eat your chocolate Easter bunny?

Feet first
Tail first
Ears first
     View Results
Photo Galleries
The Valley

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.