Pair suspected in Highgate homicide arrested

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The couple suspected in the killing of a man in Highgate have been apprehended by police.

Erika Guttilla, 31, and her boyfriend Corey Cassani, 28, were arrested at 2 a.m. Tuesday in a motor vehicle stop in South Burlington by Vermont State Police, the FBI and members, South Burlington and Shelburne police on Route 7, according to a press release from state police.

Guttilla is accused of shooting her ex-boyfriend Troy Ford, 35, in the head while he was sleeping at her mother's Highgate home. She was ordered jailed without bail, state police said.

Cassani was jailed on $25,000 bail.

Police credit surveillance tactics for the successful arrest of the two suspects. An officer safety bulletin was issued to all law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for potential vehicles the pair might have been driving. Plainclothes detectives in unmarked cars began searching for the couple.

A detective saw one of the vehicles Guttilla and Cassani had access to and traced the pair to a motel on Shelburne Road in South Burlington. When the couple left the motel at 2 a.m. they were followed by police who conducted a stop and took them into custody.

Investigators say Cassani, Guttilla, and her mother, Carmen Guttilla, were involved in the case.

Neighbors found Ford's body while walking their dogs Saturday in the woods near the Guttillas' home.

Police immediately apprehended the mother. Erika Guttilla and Cassani fled the scene and were on the run for two days.

On Monday, Carmen Guttilla was charged with first degree murder and could face a life sentence. She is accused of helping to wrap Ford's body in a carpet, which was placed in a garbage bag and disposing of it in the trash. The remains were later buried. The mother told police Ford had abused her daughter and held the family "hostage."

In an interview with police, she said that she and her daughter had decided that Ford "had to go" because of his allegedly abusive behavior toward Erika Guttilla and the whole family.

An inmate informed police about the possible homicide on April 12. The prisoner at Northwest State Correctional Facility had dated Erika Guttilla and she had told him about the killing.

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