Slain Amish woman was found with throat cut, court documents show

A suspect, Shawn Cranston, has been arrested, police said Saturday.

March 4, 2024, 10:53 AM

The pregnant Amish woman who was killed in her rural Pennsylvania home was found lying in a pool of blood with her throat cut, according to court documents.

The woman who called 911 on Feb. 26 said she and Andy Byler, 24, had just returned to Byler's home in Sparta Township and found his wife, Rebekah Byler, lying on her back in a pool of blood in the living room, according to the probable cause affidavit.

PHOTO: Amish Woman Killed
This is the home a few miles outside of Spartansburg, Pa., on Thursday, Feb. 29, 2024, where investigators discovered the body of a pregnant 23-year-old Amish woman on Monday. Pennsylvania State Police are appealing for tips from the public to help solve the crime, a state police spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Gene J. Puskar/AP

Rebekah Byler, 23, was pregnant, according to police. Her throat was cut and she had a "scalping type wound on her head," according to the probable cause affidavit.

Shawn Cranston, 52, from Corry, Pennsylvania, has been arrested and is facing charges including criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass, Pennsylvania State Police announced Saturday.

PHOTO: Shawn Cranston mugshot.
Shawn Cranston mugshot.

A motive is not clear.

State police said Monday that leads, interviews and evidence collection led to Cranston's arrest.

Cranston was arraigned Saturday morning and is being held without bond at the Crawford County Jail.