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‘I can’t believe he’s such a coldhearted monster:’ Daughter of ‘gunman’ who ‘brutally killed pregnant Amish woman,’ 23, claims her dad meant to kill previous homeowner – as horrific details of the murder are reveal

The daughter of the alleged gunman suspected of killing a pregnant Amish mother-of-two has claimed that her father meant to kill previous homeowner.

Shawn Cranston, 52, was arrested and charged in the murder of Rebekah Byler, who was shot in her head and had her throat slashed inside her home on Monday.

Cranston’s daughter, who was similar in age to the young victim, told JET 24/Fox 66 that she believed the killing may have been a case of mistaken identity.


The Amish couple, who lived in Byler’s home a few years ago, adopted Cranston’s grandson. The daughter said: ‘As far as I know, he just wanted his grandson back.’

According to the daughter, the events took a deadly turn when Byler began shouting at her father. She said: ‘Supposedly she started yelling at him, coming in, then that’s when boom, all it took. It’s just horrifying to think that.’

Shawn Cranston, 52, from Corry, Pennsylvania was arrested today morning for allegedly murdering pregnant Rebekah Byler, 23, in her home on Monday

Shawn Cranston, 52, from Corry, Pennsylvania was arrested today morning for allegedly murdering pregnant Rebekah Byler, 23, in her home on Monday

Shawn Cranston, 52, from Corry, Pennsylvania was arrested today morning for allegedly murdering pregnant Rebekah Byler, 23, in her home on Monday

The 23-year-old was six months pregnant when she was gunned down in her home in Spartansburg on Monday morning

The 23-year-old was six months pregnant when she was gunned down in her home in Spartansburg on Monday morning

The 23-year-old was six months pregnant when she was gunned down in her home in Spartansburg on Monday morning


Cranson’s daughter added: ‘Like I could never picture my dad being that cold-hearted monster. Never in a million years.’ 

Since the double homicide, Cranston has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass.

He is currently being held in the Crawford County Jail without bail.

Just two days after police said they had no suspects Pennsylvania State Police arrested Cranston and charged him with the murder of the Amish mom.


The young mother was six months pregnant when she was gunned down in her home in Spartansburg on Monday morning.

Police described the case as an ‘exhaustive’ five-day investigation before Cranston was charged with the murder of Byler and her unborn child.

Cranston is married to nurse Jamie, 46, was taken into custody Saturday morning when he was arraigned at 4.24am and committed to Crawford County Jail.

His Facebook bio reads: ‘I’m someone’s worst nightmare if they mess with me and mine’.


Shawn Cranston, 52, of Corry, PA, has been arrested in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Amish woman Rebekah Byler

Shawn Cranston, 52, of Corry, PA, has been arrested in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Amish woman Rebekah Byler

Shawn Cranston, 52, of Corry, PA, has been arrested in connection with the murder of 23-year-old Amish woman Rebekah Byler

He has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary, and criminal trespass. He is not eligible for bail

He has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary, and criminal trespass. He is not eligible for bail

He has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary, and criminal trespass. He is not eligible for bail

His preliminary hearing is set for March 15.

Cranston’s neighbors told DailyMail.com of their shock at horror at his arrest and the violence of the crime with which he is charged.


Police say Byler appeared to have ‘cutting wounds to her neck and head’ and have confirmed that she was shot. 

Paula Stine who lives two houses down from the man now charged with double homicide said: ‘I was just shocked. It’s frightening to think of how close he was, someone like that and I have grandchildren.’

Yellow police crime scene tape surrounded the two-story wooden home Saturday morning. The windows were obscured by drawn curtains and objects stacked up against them.

A tractor sat in the messy and muddy yard which was strewn with junk and in which an RV was parked.


The remote house, set on a long dirt road that cars rarely drive, stood empty when DailyMail.com visited Friday

The remote house, set on a long dirt road that cars rarely drive, stood empty when DailyMail.com visited Friday

The remote house, set on a long dirt road that cars rarely drive, stood empty when DailyMail.com visited Friday

Mrs. Stine told DailyMail.com that cops had blocked off Corry’s East Main Street Friday night and that a SWAT team descended on Cranston’s ramshackle home there at around 9pm.

She said she did not know how or if Cranston knew Byler adding: ‘I rarely spoke to him at all. He kept himself to himself really but it’s really chilling to think he was right there.’

Bylers’ two- and three-year-old children were in the home when their mother was killed. It fell to her husband, Andy, to make the gruesome discovery of her dead body.


Police have not released any information regarding the scene beyond confirming that she was shot and that her death was a homicide.

The remote house, set on a long dirt road that cars rarely drive, stood empty when DailyMail.com visited Friday. 

A child’s scooter rested by the front door and swing set and slide stood in the rough garden. A traditional Amish buggy was parked in front of an outbuilding.

The Amish woman's body was found with gunshot wounds. Her two toddlers were at home at the time of her death

The Amish woman's body was found with gunshot wounds. Her two toddlers were at home at the time of her death

The Amish woman’s body was found with gunshot wounds. Her two toddlers were at home at the time of her death


Police have not released any information regarding the scene beyond confirming that she was shot and that her death was a homicide

Police have not released any information regarding the scene beyond confirming that she was shot and that her death was a homicide

Police have not released any information regarding the scene beyond confirming that she was shot and that her death was a homicide

One Amish woman declined to comment beyond telling DailyMail.com: 'We like to keep things among ourselves. We¿re not talking to protect the parents and the husband'

One Amish woman declined to comment beyond telling DailyMail.com: 'We like to keep things among ourselves. We¿re not talking to protect the parents and the husband'

One Amish woman declined to comment beyond telling DailyMail.com: ‘We like to keep things among ourselves. We’re not talking to protect the parents and the husband’

Despite the shocking crime neighbors remained tight-lipped, in keeping with the notoriously closed Amish community’s customs.

One Amish woman declined to comment beyond telling DailyMail.com: ‘We like to keep things among ourselves. We’re not talking to protect the parents and the husband’.


Residents and family members reported seeing a red jeep parked outside the Byler home around 10am Monday morning – an unusual sight in a part of the world where motor vehicles are a rarity and on a road only usually traversed by horses and buggies.

Locals in the community have also banded together to raise money for Byler’s family.

‘I’m just absolutely heartbroken that this has happened,’ Charleen Hajec, the owner of Spartansburg Pharmacy, told ABC 6. ‘I’m very concerned about the Amish community and worried for them.’

Locals in the community have also banded together to raise money for Byler's family

Locals in the community have also banded together to raise money for Byler's family

Locals in the community have also banded together to raise money for Byler’s family


A homicide investigation is exceedingly uncommon in the rural area, which is located 40 miles outside the city of Erie

A homicide investigation is exceedingly uncommon in the rural area, which is located 40 miles outside the city of Erie

A homicide investigation is exceedingly uncommon in the rural area, which is located 40 miles outside the city of Erie

Kelsey Bova, owner of Bova's Hardware and administrator of a local Spartansburg Facebook group, set up a GoFundMe for donations

Kelsey Bova, owner of Bova's Hardware and administrator of a local Spartansburg Facebook group, set up a GoFundMe for donations

Kelsey Bova, owner of Bova’s Hardware and administrator of a local Spartansburg Facebook group, set up a GoFundMe for donations

A homicide investigation is exceedingly uncommon in the rural area, which is located 40 miles outside the city of Erie.

Kelsey Bova, owner of Bova’s Hardware and administrator of a local Spartansburg Facebook group, set up a GoFundMe for donations. 


‘We would like to show our support for the entire Amish community and help raise funds so that Andy and his children can find a safe new home,’ she wrote.

Bova announced that she was organizing a drive for food, toys, cleaning products and gift cards, inviting locals to drop the donations off at the hardware store or a local pub.

Byler’s cousin Rosanna posted to Facebook asking friends to pray for her.

‘I’m in shock! I can’t believe it! Where they live in PA is a rural area!’ wrote the Rogers, Ohio woman. ‘I grew up about 20 miles from there and would go down to that area all the time.’


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