PENN HILLS (KDKA) — The sister of a Penn Hills woman murdered in 2017 says her family has been waiting for more than two years for justice.
The estranged husband of Jessica Vecchiola was charged in her death just yesterday after mystery initially surrounded the young mother’s death.
Jessica was found dead inside the couple’s Loretta Drive residence in February of 2017.
Days before her death, 29-year-old Jessica was attacked in a road rage incident that sprained her neck. Her death was originally listed as pending, but in January of this year, it was ruled homicide.
The medical examiner stated in police documents that Jessica’s spinal cord injury could not have been caused a week earlier, she was internally decapitated at the time of death.
Jessica Vecchiola’s sister says she hopes her estranged brother-in-law remains here at the Allegheny County Jail until trial. Jessica’s sister says she and her family felt all along Antonio Vecchiola should be charged.
“I just feel like I can exhale now and know that he’s not walking around just living his life anymore,” said Felicia Lucot, Jessica’s sister.
Lucot says after more than two years of staying strong behind the scenes she and her family feel some relief to their incredible pain. The family strongly believed Antonio Vecchiola was responsible for Jessica’s death.
“There was a lot of manipulation, a lot of control. She didn’t know how much money he made. She had to ask her for money,” she said.
The family says Jessica and Antonio Vecchiola were in the process of selling their Penn Hills home, divorce proceedings and a custody battle over their two young boys.
“I think all of the police visits to the house and the PFA’s and all those things really just illustrate just how had this relationship had gotten in the end,” Lucot said.
Lucot says her sister was working with a women’s shelter for help while getting divorced.
“We had a conversation not too long before she passed about how excited she was to be moving on with her life and finally living for herself so I don’t think it’s a system that failed her I think it’s her husband that failed her,” she said.
The family says they held in their emotions these last two years while working with police for the sake of the couple’s two little boys.
“I feel so angry inside about it,” said Lucott. “I think it was the love for her and the love for her kids was a little more powerful I guess than the anger and the hatred you have towards someone who could do something this terrible.”
34-year-old Antonio Vecchiola was arrested at a strip mall in Monroeville on Thursday.
According to the criminal complaint texts between the couple may have been deleted by someone and that Antonio’s cell phone pinged from a tower near Jessica’s home the night before she died.
The two little boys now ages four and twelve are with Jessica’s mom, and the family says they are having a very difficult time coming to terms with their mother’s death.
A “Justice for Jessica” car show fundraiser will still take place Sunday in Monroeville.
In the meantime, Antonio Vecchiola is being without bond at the Allegheny County Jail.