23-year-old pregnant Amish woman murdered: ‘Everyone is stunned,’ community member says


(SPARTA TOWNSHIP, PA.) — The predominantly Amish community in Spartansburg, Pennsylvania, is shocked and scared after a 23-year-old pregnant Amish woman was killed this week, a community member told ABC News.

“Everyone is stunned — this doesn’t happen here,” said Charleen Hajec, a pharmacist who was born and raised in Spartansburg. “Everyone is talking. It’s scary and frustrating.”

On Monday afternoon, police responded to a home in Sparta Township, where they found Rebekah Byler dead, Pennsylvania State Police said.

Byler’s death is considered a homicide and “police are aggressively investigating,” authorities said. Her cause of death has not been released.

No suspects are in custody, Pennsylvania State Police spokesperson Cindy Schick told ABC News on Thursday.

Police are “looking into all leads,” Schick said, noting that “nothing is standing out” as a possible motive.

Police are interviewing community members and Schick said the Amish community is cooperating with the investigation.

Sparta Township is a small township in Crawford County, just outside of the borough of Spartansburg and about 35 miles southeast of Erie, Pennsylvania.

When Hajec heard what happened to the young Amish woman she said she couldn’t believe a murder would happen in Sparta Township, which she called a “tight-knit community.”

“The outside world doesn’t get in,” Hajec said. “To have something this tragic … it doesn’t happen here.”

An Amish man who knows Byler’s family, and asked to remain anonymous, told ABC News her death is devastating.

“We are people who believe in God and turn to him during a time like this,” he said.

Police have asked the public to report any suspicious people, cars or activity in the area of Fish Flats Road to the authorities at 814-663-2043.

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