Orange Co. man accused of killing missing Pa. woman

August 5, 2011 4:41:32 AM PDT
New York State Police say a 39-year-old Hudson Valley man has been charged with killing a woman who went missing in early July from her Pennsylvania home.

Police recovered the body, believed to be 27-year-old Kathleen Connolly, on Wednesday. They continued to dig outside the home in New Windsor Thursday.

A backhoe and tents were in place to help during the investigation. Police in Lancaster County say Connolly disappeared about two weeks ago.

Connolly had moved from New York to West Hempfield , Pennsylvania, and was reportedly working at the QVC warehouse there. After her disappearance, her one-time boyfriend Timothy Handel took the couple's two children and moved to the New Windsor home where the search was being conducted. He was apparently staying there while the owner was away on vacation.

New York state police arrested Handel Wednesday and charged him with seconde-degree murder after the discovery of the body. Police believe Connolly was killed in Pennsylvania and brought to Orange County in a U-Haul.

The investigation began when Connolly was reported missing to the West Hempfield Township police on July 21. She was last seen alive on or about July 7. Further investigation culminated with the recovery of a body, tentatively identified as Connolly, in the backyard of the Riley Road home.

Handel pleaded not guilty and is being held without bail.