PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Allegheny County Police say the human remains found in a garbage bag in Plum Borough over the weekend are that of missing 67-year-old Elizabeth “Betsy” Wiesenfeld of Whitehall.
Wiesenfeld went missing last year on April 30.
A Plum Borough police officer found her remains while on patrol in an area known for dumping and off-road vehicle use.
The officer noticed a garbage bag there with a tear in it and a shoe showing from it. Upon closer inspection, the officer reported it to be possible human remains.
The remains were taken to the Allegheny County Medical Examiner’s Office, which made the positive identification of Wiesenfeld.
The investigation into her nearly year-long disappearance led to the arrest of Wiesenfeld’s handyman, 47-year-old Douglas Berry. He is facing criminal homicide charges in her death.
Detectives found a loaded gun inside Berry’s Liberty Borough home.
Investigators also found Wiesenfeld’s cell phone in the South Side. Detectives think Berry may have used the phone after she disappeared.
In the quiet Whitehall neighborhood where Wiesenfeld lived, it was all anyone was talking about on Monday.
“I was really upset because there was still hope that she was alive,” said neighbor Theresa Manning.
“I’ve been praying for them to find her body, I have been. It makes me sick to think about it,” said Cathy Corrado, who lived near Wiesenfeld.
Neighbors feel the handyman took advantage of her kindness, and she paid the ultimate price.
“I hope he gets what he deserves, the chair or something,” Corrado told KDKA News.
The Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office released this statement on the investigation:
“District Attorney Zappala would like to acknowledge the work of the Allegheny County Police, Whitehall Borough Police and Plum Borough Police along with others who have contributed to this investigation. Finding the remains of Elizabeth is important for her family and we will be assisting them as this case proceeds to trial. While the defendant in this matter is presumed innocent until proven guilty, this development certainly strengthens our efforts to move forward with this prosecution and seek justice for Elizabeth, her family and friends.”