A 23-year-old Hudson Valley newspaper deliveryman is accused of killing a Hyde Park teen authorities say he apparently encountered while driving his early-morning route in March.
Stephen Shand of Hyde Park is charged with second-degree murder in a case police said little about after 18-year-old Kathryn Filiberti's body was found near a park in the town 75 miles north of New York City.
Police and prosecutors remained tightlipped Thursday, refusing to detail the circumstances of Filiberti's death beyond a court document saying she was strangled. They did say Shand delivered newspapers on a 3 a.m. to 6 a.m. shift, the window of time when they believe Filiberti was killed March 19.
Dutchess County Sheriff's Lt. John Watterson said the two crossed paths after Filiberti, a Dutchess Community College freshman and star gymnast in high school, left a party on foot.
"We do not believe they knew each other," Watterson said. He also said authorities "do not have evidence of premeditation" and there's nothing to indicate that Shand was associated with Filiberti's circle of friends.
After Filiberti's body was found, police quickly characterized her death as a homicide and assured residents they didn't believe they were in danger from a killer on the loose. But as the investigation dragged on with authorities offering little other information, rumors began to fly in local media and on comment boards.
District Attorney William Grady on Thursday defended the tight hold on information to avoid "compromising" the investigation and said "a number of unfounded and patently false rumors" added to the distress of the Filiberti family.
He said the case against Shand will go to a grand jury within a week and additional charges are possible.
Watterson said Shand doesn't have a criminal record.
A Hyde Park Town Court official said she didn't know if Shand has a lawyer. He was being held without bail at the county jail.