SUNBURY — Recently installed video surveillance cameras that record vehicles entering and leaving the city could help Sunbury police catch the killer who repeatedly and fatally stabbed 42-year-old Troy LaFerrara.
LaFerrara, a Port Trevorton resident, environmental engineer and Penn State graduate, died from multiple stab wounds, Northumberland County Coroner Jim Kelley said Wednesday.
His body was found Tuesday morning in an alley behind 240 Catawissa Ave., and his may be one of the most gruesome homicides Sunbury has seen.
Authorities on Wednesday evening found a black 1997 Chevrolet S-10 pickup truck at the Susquehanna Valley Mall in Hummels Wharf that may be involved in the homicide and on Thursday searched the vehicle.
Police confirmed that the mall does not have surveillance cameras in its parking lot. The 1997 Chevy S-10 pickup truck was parked near the entrance to the Bon-Ton Court and Garfield’s Restaurant and Pub, mall sources said.
Several police on Wednesday night were seen circling the black vehicle and peering inside, according to shoppers who witnessed the discovery.
Police may not even be sure the pickup truck was in Sunbury at the time of the homicide. They are conducting interviews and have been working continuously to develop leads, Sunbury police Chief Steve Mazzeo said.
Investigators are watching video captured by surveillance cameras located near the Edison and Veterans Memorial bridges, Sunbury police Mazzeo said.
There are several suspects, Mazzeo said.
Video surveillance cameras became a huge topic in Sunbury over the past few months as some residents were concerned city leaders may have been infringing on their rights to privacy, but now the cameras, which former U.S. Rep. Chris Carney helped the city to obtain through a $200,000 grant, could now possible play a huge role in solving the murder.
Also on Thursday, Sunbury police combed LaFerrara’s North Eighth Street residence just before noon and left with evidence bags.
LaFerrara owned a home at 106 N. Eighth St. that he purchased for $1 from his mother in 2011. Colleen LaFerrara told The Daily Item her husband was remodeling the property.
Witnesses said LaFerrara was lying face-down in a small parking area between two garages near the alley between Catawissa and Fairmount avenues. His body was covered in blood and his torso severely cut.
While Kelley on Wednesday would not identify the number of times LaFerrara had been cut, there have been reports LaFerrara suffered more than 20 stab wounds, including those to his head and face.
Although a pool of blood stained the small parking area, according to neighbors, police have not said that’s where the murder occurred and they will not say what they saw at the scene.
When word of LaFerrara’s death spread Tuesday afternoon, several friends began to post condolences on Facebook. By Wednesday morning, Colleen LaFerrara was surrounded by friends and family at the couple’s home in Port Trevorton.
Colleen LaFerrara told The Daily Item her husband was a “sweet guy” who would help anybody in need.
A member of the Union-Chapman Township Regional Sewer Authority in Snyder County, LaFerrara was described as a “nice man.”
“I was in shock when I heard this,” said Gerald Bilger, vice chairman of the Union-Chapman Township Regional Sewer Authority. “He was always very nice.”
The board held its monthly meeting Thursday night.
Sunbury police Sgt. Christopher Blase and Cpl. Jamie Quinn are leading the investigation, Mazzeo said.
Witnesses or those with tips are asked to call (570) 286-4584 or Northumberland County Emergency Services at (570) 988-4539.