Handyman pleads guilty to killing 67-year-old Pennsylvania woman who feared him

A former handyman has pleaded guilty to third-degree murder in the death of a western Pennsylvania woman whose body was found nearly a year after she went missing in 2019. Douglas Berry, 50, of McKeesport, also pleaded guilty to burglary, theft and receiving stolen property Monday as part of an agreement with Allegheny County prosecutors who agreed to recommend a sentence of 17 to 40 years in state prison.

Elizabeth Wiesenfeld, 67, was reported missing to Whitehall police in April 2019. Remains later identified as hers were found nearly a year later in a garbage bag in a section of Plum Borough known for illegal dumping and off-road vehicle use.

Authorities said Wiesenfeld had told her family she was afraid of Berry, who had been doing work on her house and kept showing up even though she had stopped hiring him.

Berry told the court that he wanted everyone to know «how sorry I am for the mistakes I’ve made,» the Tribune-Review reported.

Douglas Berry
Douglas Berry

«I’ve learned to pray for forgiveness,» he said. «I apologize to the family for not doing more, and I apologize to Betsy. I can’t move mountains.»

Police said they linked Berry to the case through Wiesenfeld’s stolen ATM card, CBS Pittsburgh reports.

Since her death, Wiesenfeld’s first grandson has been born and her first granddaughter is set to arrive soon. Her brother, Christopher Lagi, said in a victim impact statement that «she died on the verge of a great outpouring of love.»

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