PITTSBURGH (AP) — State police have charged a central Pennsylvania man with criminal homicide in the death of his former daughter-in-law who has been missing since 1999.
Kenneth Leighty, 65, has been jailed since Altoona police tried to question him last month about Sherry Leighty’s disappearance, but police said he instead fought with officers and was arrested. Huntingdon County District Attorney George Zanic earlier this month confirmed that human remains and clothing were found on or near a 150-acre tract Kenneth Leighty owns in Warriors Mark Township. Zanic declined to comment on the homicide charge filed today, but said he planned to discuss the case at a news conference later in the day.
State police and other investigators had begun searching the land April 20, a day after Leighty was jailed. His attorneys in the case, Thomas Hooper and Jennifer Habel, didn’t immediately return messages left for them at their office and with the Huntingdon County district judge who arraigned Leighty and ordered him jailed without bond. Authorities have said in search warrants that Leighty was the last person to see his daughter-in-law alive when he drove her to work in October 1999, and that they believe he killed her and buried her on or near his hunting camp.
Sherry Leighty’s family said she was 23 when she was last seen in October 1999.