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Accused Killer in Court | News

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Accused Killer in Court
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A woman's death in Bradford County went unexplained for nearly a year until, police said, her alleged killer confessed earlier this month.

Friday, a judge found there is enough evidence to send homicide and other charges on to court.

Earlier this month, state police said Emily Bellows-Shaffer contacted them and confessed to killing a Bradford County woman in September of last year.

That was when, investigators said, Carol Hickok's body was found outside her home near Canton. The cause of death was ruled undetermined.

"The case was thoroughly investigated when it occurred, there was just a question of when someone would come forth," said Bradford County District Attorney Daniel Barrett.

Prosecutors said it was unusual, in that Bellows-Shaffer allegedly went to police to make trouble for her son's father and the victim's husband, Roger Hickok.  The Hickoks had custody and Bellows-Shaffer told troopers she went to see her son the morning of Carol Hickok's death.

"That's definitely going to be a big part of our investigation as the case goes forward.8ik, I'm sure more of that will come out," said public defender Helen Stolinas.

During the hearing, the coroner testified at first, Hickok's cause of death was undetermined.  After Bellows-Shaffer told troopers she and Carol Hickok fought and Hickok hit her head, only then was the manner of death changed to homicide.

At first, prosecutors said Bellows-Shaffer told investigators she left Hickok in the bedroom after the bloody fight, then said she made it look like an accident.

"Later she acknowledged that she had dragged Carol Hickok outside the house and dumped her," said Barrett.

Emily Bellows-Shaffer is locked up in Bradford County facing homicide and related charges.  Interestingly enough, Roger Hickok testified that he and the defendant lived together in Florida with their son after his wife's death.  Only when he came back to Pennsylvania without Bellows-Shaffer did she try to get custody and allegedly confessed to police.

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