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May 8, 2018

UPDATE: SURVEILLANCE LED TO ARREST OF HIGHGATE SUSPECTS






















STATE OF VERMONT
DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY
VERMONT STATE POLICE
 
PRESS RELEASE
               
CASE#: 18A202195
 
TROOPER: Det. LT. Todd Baxter                                               
STATION:  Vermont State Police Major Crime Unit                     
CONTACT#: 802-524-5993
 
DATE/TIME: 05-05-2018 1448hrs
LOCATION: Darlene Dr. Highgate VT
INCIDENT: Possible Human Remains / homicide
 
 
**Update No. 4**
 
Following the discovery on Monday, May 7, of the abandoned Chevrolet Spark in Swanton, detectives with the Vermont State Police learned of other potential vehicles that Erika Guttilla and Corey Cassani might be using.

State police issued an officer-safety bulletin to all Vermont law-enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for those vehicles. At the same time, plainclothes detectives in unmarked vehicles began seeking the cars in question.

At 1 a.m. Tuesday, May 8, a detective on that detail observed one of the vehicles potentially connected to Guttilla and Cassani. The detective traced the vehicle to a motel on Shelburne Road in South Burlington, where surveillance was initiated. 
 
The vehicle departed the motel at about 2 a.m. and was subsequently stopped on U.S. Route 7 in South Burlington just north of the Shelburne town line. Members of the Vermont State Police, along with Shelburne and South Burlington police and FBI agents, conducted a high-risk stop. The vehicle pulled over immediately, and Guttilla and Cassani were taken into custody without incident. 
 
Vermont State Police detectives continue to work with the Franklin County State’s Attorney’s Office to finalize charges. An arraignment is expected later today. Please check with Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, for information on time and location of arraignment proceedings.

The state police would like to thank members of the public for tips and information they provided during the investigation, and to the law-enforcement partners who assisted: Shelburne Police Department, South Burlington Police Department, Winooski Police Department, the FBI, and the U.S. Marshals Service. 
 
Booking photographs were taken of Guttilla and Cassani following their arrests Tuesday morning and are attached to this release.
 
**Update No. 3**
 
Early this morning, law-enforcement officers arrested Erika Guttilla and Corey Cassani without incident following a motor-vehicle stop in South Burlington.

Members of the Vermont State Police, South Burlington police, Shelburne police and the FBI made the arrests at about 1:30 a.m. on U.S. Route 7 in South Burlington just north of the Shelburne town line.
 
Guttilla was ordered jailed on no bail. Cassani was jailed on $25,000 bail.
 
Please contact Vermont Superior Court for information about arraignment times and location.
 
 
**Update No. 2**
 
Monday afternoon, the Vermont State Police located in Swanton the vehicle in which Erika Guttilla and Corey Cassani were believed to have been traveling. The whereabouts of the individuals remains unknown. 
 
Anyone with information is asked to call state police in St. Albans at 802-524-5993. 
 
 
**Update**
 
During the day Sunday, May 6, members of the Vermont State Police Crime Scene Search Team recovered the remains and processed the area on Darlene Drive.  The remains were brought to the Chief Medical Examiner’s Office in Burlington for an autopsy scheduled for 05/07/18.  Detectives with the VSP Major Crime Unit and Bureau of Criminal Investigation continued the investigation and preliminarily identified the body as Troy Ford (35), of 161 Charles Circle, Highgate, VT.  
 
Investigation revealed he lived at this residence occupied/owned by Michael and Carmen Guttilla.  Investigation revealed Ford was in a relationship with their daughter, Erika Guttilla (31), who also lived at the residence, and that Erika Guttilla shot and killed Ford several months prior at the residence.  Investigation revealed that Carmen Guttilla aided Erika Guttilla in the commission of the murder.  Investigation revealed that Corey Cassani (28) of Highgate and Erika Guttilla disposed of Ford’s body at the location where it was ultimately found.   
 
Detectives took Carmen Guttilla (60) into custody in the evening hours of 05/06/18 without incident.  She was lodged on no bail on suspicion of aiding in the commission of a felony (murder).  She is expected to be arraigned in Vermont Superior Court, Criminal Division, in Burlington later today, 05/07/18. 
 
The whereabouts of Erika Guttilla and Corey Cassani are unknown.  Arrest warrants for both are being sought for the charges of murder (Erika Guttilla) and accessory after the fact (Corey Cassani).  They are believed to be travelling in a 2013 red Chevrolet Spark, 4 door, bearing VT registration FHN394.  Vermont State Police are being aided by the FBI and U.S. Marshals Service in locating and apprehending both.  
 
Erika Guttilla is a white female, 5 feet 6 inches tall, weighing 120 pounds, with green eyes and blonde hair.  Corey Cassani is a white male, 5 feet 9 inches tall, weighing 165 pounds, with brown eyes and brown hair.  They should be considered armed and dangerous.
 
Anyone with information about the case or about the whereabouts of Erika Guttilla and Corey Cassani should call Vermont State Police at the St. Albans barracks, 802-524-5993.
 
Further details regarding this case will be released via affidavit following Carmen Guttilla’s arraignment.
 
 
**Original Press Release**
 
SUMMARY OF INCIDENT:  On May 5, 2018, at approximately 1448 hrs, the Vermont State Police received a call from two residents on Darlene Dr. in Highgate VT.  The residents reported while walking their dogs on Darlene Dr. they came across what they believe to be human remains in a wooden area close to the roadway.  The Vermont State Police responded to the area and have initiated an investigation.  The area in question will be processed on May 6, 2018.  Anyone with any information in relation to this case is encouraged to call the Vermont State Police at 802-524-5993. 
 
 
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