Slain Pregnant Amish Woman Had Cuts to Her Head and Neck, Police Say

The Associated Press
By The Associated Press
February 29, 2024US News
Slain Pregnant Amish Woman Had Cuts to Her Head and Neck, Police Say
Police vehicles on the Fish Flats property, a few miles outside Spartansburg, Pa., on Feb. 27, 2024. (Craig Rouse/WJET via AP)

SPARTANSBURG, Pa.—Search warrant filings for the Pennsylvania home where a pregnant Amish woman was killed this week said she appeared to have suffered cutting wounds to her neck and head.

Two identical search warrants were issued at the request of state police regarding the Monday slaying of Rebekah A. Byler, 23. Her body was found in the living room of her home a few miles from Spartansburg.

The warrant applications regarding the home and outbuildings that were submitted by an investigator, Trooper Adam Black, said the victim’s husband, Andy Byler, found her body “a short distance inside” the home shortly after noon.

Black wrote that a woman, previously described by police as a family friend, called 911 at 12:36 p.m. to report that she and Andy Byler found Rebekah Byler unresponsive when they arrived.

Trooper Cynthia Schick told The Associated Press on Thursday the investigation and autopsy have given police an idea of what the murder weapon may have been, but they do not have it in their possession.

Two young Byler children at the home were not harmed, Schick has said.

Arriving at the murder scene, state police officers found Rebekah Byler on her back in the living room, Black wrote. The warrants sought knives, blades, cutting instruments and other items.

Police have not said how she was killed. They also said they have not developed any suspects and want the public to contact them with any tips.

The home is located along a dirt road in a very remote farming area. There were no signs of activity Thursday afternoon at the house, where a buggy, a bike and a truck were parked outside. A few miles away, a gift shop displayed a handwritten sign offering prayers for their Amish neighbors.

The Amish generally follow basic Christian beliefs and practices but are not homogeneous, according to the Young Center for Anabaptist and Pietist Studies at Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania. They are known for simple clothing and for relying on horses and buggies for transportation. Local congregations maintain a variety of rules and restrictions regarding dress, the use of technology and participation in American society.

The overall Amish population is nearly 400,000 people in hundreds of settlements across 32 states, Canada and Bolivia. Pennsylvania has one of the greatest concentrations of Amish.

By Peter Smith and Mark Scolforo

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