Suspect Arrested in Case of Pennsylvania Mom Who Died of ‘Internal Decapitation’

June 7, 2019 Updated: June 7, 2019

A Pennsylvania man was arrested for the slaying of his wife two years ago, according to reports.

Jessica Vecchiola was found dead in her home in Penn Hill, Pennsylvania, on Feb. 6, 2017, WPXI reported.

For the past two years, they have investigated the case after they found suspicious circumstances surrounding her death, the report said.

A medical examiner ruled that she died of “internal decapitation,” a type of serious spinal cord injury, WPXI said. Her mother said that she was attacked in a serious road rage injury days before her death that had left her in a neck brace, the station reported.

Now, Allegheny County police confirmed Antonio Vecchiola, her estranged husband, was detained in the case, People magazine reported. He was charged with a single count of criminal homicide.

“The County Police became involved in the investigation on February 8, 2017, after learning of the suspicious circumstances,” a police statement said, according to the publication.

Elaborating on the case, People reported that she was pronounced dead at the scene, and the autopsy revealed she died from “Atlanto-Occipital Dislocation,” or “internal decapitation.”

“The investigation into Jessica’s death had continued over the past couple years. In January 2019, the investigative details surrounding Jessica’s death were presented to the Medical Examiner’s Office. As a result of that information, the manner of death was changed from ‘Pending Investigation’ to ‘Homicide,’” officials wrote.

CBS Pittsburgh reported that an investigation into the death of Vecchiola, a mother of two boys, was complicated by her neck injuries.

The circumstances leading up to her death were not disclosed in media reports.

Her mother elaborated on the incident.

“She told me that she was pulled over and she pulled over in the parking lot so they could pass her. The vehicle pulled on after her, banging on her window,” Elizabeth Arrington, Jessica’s mother, told the CBS affiliate, which reported that she had told police that two women to her she leave “Tony,” her husband, alone.

Vecchiola also had a protection from abuse order against her estranged husband, and the two were embroiled in a divorce. Police had been to her home three times in the past, the report said.

“My daughter is more than just a name and more than just a victim. She had a life, she had two sons that loved her very very much,” Arrington explained.

Other details about the case were not provided.

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