Husband Of Missing Mother Who Searched 'How To Get Away With Murder’ Pleads Guilty To Her Murder
55-year-old Elizabeth Capaldi was reported missing on Oct. 12, 2022. In April 2023, her husband pleaded guilty to strangling and dismembering her, and hiding her remains.
55-year-old Elizabeth “Beth” Capaldi was reported missing on Oct. 12, 2022 by a family member. She was last seen with her husband in the Sellersville, Pennsylvania home they shared two days prior on Oct. 10. In December 2022, her husband, Stephen Capaldi, was charged with her murder, reported PEOPLE.
In April 2023, Stephen pleaded guilty to killing his wife, dismembering her body, and hiding her remains, according to the Bucks County District Attorney's Office. He will spend 44 years in prison.
Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub announced in a Dec. 15, 2022 press conference that Stephen was accused of strangling Beth, dismembering her body in their home, and disposing of her remains across the Greater Philadelphia area.
Stephen pleaded guilty to third-degree murder, possessing an instrument of crime, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, obstructing the administration of law or other governmental function and abuse of a corpse.
Authorities believe Stephen murdered his wife by strangling her and smothering her with a pillow, surprising her in her sleep on the morning of Oct. 10. After she was dead, perhaps to hide the body, he dismembered her in their basement. Then he started disposing of some of her remains in an apartment complex dumpster and buried some of her remains along the Delaware River.
Stephen is the one who led police to Beth’s partial remains after he was arrested as part of a plea deal with prosecutors, according to NBC Philadelphia. Weintraub said they struck the plea deal in the hopes they could find Beth alive and help her return to her family.
As part of the plea, Capaldi cooperated with investigators, told them what he did to his wife and led them to her remains, allowing her family to give her a proper burial.
Weintraub explained, “This negotiated resolution will now allow Beth Capaldi’s family to grieve on their own terms, knowing that we did all we could do to find her and ultimately to bring her home, and free of the whims and the timing of the criminal justice system and the endless appeals that it affords its defendants. In a word: closure.”
The DA also explained that part of the motive for murder could have been the affair that Stephen was having. Police found evidence of his affair on his cell phone. The messages also showed that his mistress supported his idea of opening a comic book store as he talked about how his wife opposed the idea of opening the store, reported Lehigh Valley Live.
Before the murder, Stephen also looked up “how to get away with murder” on the internet. He also looked up how to delete Facebook messages and tried to find out whether a polygraph can be skewed, among other suspicious searches.
Emma Capaldi, the couple’s daughter, posted a tribute to her mom on Facebook. Alongside a collection of photos and a video that she said always made her smile, she said, “My beautiful mother is gone from this world. She made me who I am. She touched so many people. The video at the end makes me smile every time I watch it.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help Emma with all that she’s facing in the aftermath of her mother’s murder.
*This article was originally published in December 2022 and updated in October 2023.