Police in Sunbury, Pa., said Monday they were continuing to work with authorities in other states trying to determine whether a teen accused of killing a man she met through Craigslist also killed dozens of other people.
Miranda Barbour, 19, and her husband, Elytte Barbour, 22, could face the death penalty after prosecutors say the pair killed Troy LaFerrara, 42, in November. Miranda Barbour, in a jailhouse interview with The Daily Item newspaper in Sunbury, said she had participated in dozens of slayings in Alaska, Texas, North Carolina and California over a six-year period.
Now, authorities are working to verify her statements. Chief Steve Mazzeo told USA TODAY on Monday that his department was reviewing the latest information and was in contact with "various state and federal agencies to determine the veracity" of Miranda Barbour's claims.
In a statement issued Sunday, the FBI's Philadelphia division said it had been in contact with Sunbury police and "will offer any assistance requested in the case."
The Daily Item reported last week that Miranda Barbour, 19, said in a jailhouse interview that the couple killed LaFerrara and that she should be kept locked up because, if freed, she probably would kill again.
Barbour said she was sexually abused as a child and joined a satanic cult in Alaska when she was 13. Soon after, she said, the cult leader helped her pull the trigger when she killed a man she said owed the cult leader money.
"And then from there I just continued to kill," she told the newspaper.
She told the Daily Item she agreed to have sex for $100 with LaFerrara, and they met in a mall parking lot before driving several miles to Sunbury.
She said she planned to let LaFerrara out of her Honda CRV but "he said the wrong things."
Barbour said she told LaFerrara that she had just turned 16: "He told me that it was OK. If he would have said no, that he wasn't going to go through with the arrangement, I would have let him go."
She said he was not supposed to be stabbed, just strangled by her husband but "things got out of control."
She is accused of stabbing LaFerrara, 42, 20 times as her husband strapped a cord around LaFerrara's neck from the back seat.
Miranda Barbour told the newspaper they participated in several slayings in Alaska and others in Texas, North Carolina and California. She said she "stopped counting" at 22 victims.
"I can pinpoint on a map where you can find them," she said.
Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty against both Barbours. Police have said that Elytte Barbour told investigators the couple are members of a satanic cult and that they committed the crime because they wanted to kill someone together. The couple married in North Carolina and moved to Pennsylvania about three weeks before LaFerrrara's murder.
"By no means is this a way to glorify it or get attention," she told the Daily Item. "I'm telling you because it is time for me to be honest."