New Jersey

GPS Leads Authorities to Find Body of Missing New Jersey Mother in Maryland

Months after a South Jersey mother of two went missing and her husband was accused of her murder, GPS technology in her husband's car led authorities to her body.

Erica Crippen went missing on New Year's Eve. On Wednesday, Burlington County Prosecutor Robert Bernardi announced that the Mount Laurel woman's body was found around noon the day before underneath a pile of branches and limbs about 85 feet off of Old Frederick Road in Carroll County, Maryland. Crippen had an electrical cord around her neck and duct tape binding her hands and feet -- the cold weather having preserved the body, said prosecutors.

Crippen's husband, Kyle Crosby, stands accused in the murder of his 26-year-old wife. Crosby and Crippen had a child together -- that child was 2 months at the time of her mother's disappearance -- and Crippen had a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship.

Just days after Crippen's disappearance, Crosby vanished following police questioning. Crippen's family said during that time, Crosby allegedly sold his wife's clothing for drugs. He filed a missing person's report on Jan. 7 and first faced charges of child endangerment on Jan. 10 -- that is the same day authorities believe he dumped Crippen's body near a rural Maryland farmhouse in Sykesville.

Two days later, Brooklawn police caught Crosby after a foot chase on Jan. 12. He was charged in Crippen's murder the following day.

Once Crosby was in custody -- he remains jailed on $1.2 million bail -- investigators began to look at 8600 locations entered into his Garmin GPS -- narrowing their search down to about 30 locations. They then went through those locations until they found Crippen's body at a location where the GPS showed he spent a considerable amount of time and that was listed under "IDK," aka I don't know..

"Her family can now give Erica the proper burial that they have longed to provide, said Bernardi. "Domestic violence is a terrible scourge on our society. The result in this case was the ultimate evil. Kyle Crosby took the life of his wife."

The discovery of Crippen's body coincidentally came as allegations against Crosby's mother, Jo Crosby, came out. Authorities said Crosby got help from his mom after he allegedly killed his wife and she was charged with hindering and tampering with physical evidence.

Jo Crosby was released after posting $12,500 bail.

Crippen's family had mixed emotions when they learned her body was finally found.

"Im glad that we have her body," said Crippen's cousin Barbara Kellam. "But I am so sick to my stomach." 

Erica's sister Janiya Crippen told NBC10 she still has questions regarding her death.

"I really want to know what went through Kyle's mind," she said. "I understand that this was his wife. He so-called loved her but he dumped her body like trash."

Burlington County Prosecutor's Office Det. Wayne Raynor says in the probable-cause statement that Jo Crosby texted with her son around the time of Crippen's disappearance. He says she deleted those texts to conceal incriminating information.

The affidavit of probable cause in that case details a string of text messages sent and received on Kyle Crosby's phone in the early hours of Dec. 31.

Police said Jo Crosby told her son to calm down and then asked him, "Do you want me to wake daddy?"

Kyle Crosby allegedly texted back, "Do not wake up dad. Cannot worry and stress. Yes, I'm at the house. This is just crazy ridiculous."

Three minutes later, Jo Crosby allegedly texted him, "Please do not touch her in any way or form," a warning that police say Kyle Crosby ultimately did not heed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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