Investigation documents in the killing of Krista Dittmeyer will remain sealed for 90 days, officials in New Hampshire said Thursday.
The decision means that information about the Portland 20-year-old’s death contained in search warrant affidavits, the autopsy report and other investigative paperwork will not be made public in the near future.
Authorities said Wednesday that three New Hampshire men had been arrested in the slaying. Anthony Papile, 28, of Ossipee was charged with second-degree murder in Ossipee District Court. Michael Petelis, 28, of Ossipee was charged with conspiracy to commit robbery, as was Trevor Ferguson, 23, of Tamworth.
Papile, who faces life in prison if convicted, was ordered held without bail. Petelis and Ferguson, who each face as much as 15 years in prison, were ordered held on $250,000 bail. All three are scheduled to appear in court next Thursday for a hearing at which the state must show it had probable cause to arrest them.
Prosecutors have 90 days to present the case to a grand jury for indictment, said New Hampshire Senior Assistant Attorney General Jane Young.
The case drew national attention after Dittmeyer’s Nissan Sentra was found idling in a parking lot at the Cranmore Mountain Resort in North Conway, N.H., around 6:30 a.m. April 23. Dittmeyer was gone and her toddler was strapped into a car seat in the back, unharmed. Searchers located Dittmeyer’s body four days later in a nearby pond.
Authorities said Wednesday that Dittmeyer was attacked as part of a scheme to steal drugs and money. They also filed court documents outlining what they believe happened to Dittmeyer, who lived in Portland and worked as a waitress at a South Portland restaurant.
The documents say Petelis, whom the prosecution described as Dittmeyer’s friend and self-proclaimed protector, had arranged to meet her April 22 at his apartment in Ossipee. He sent a text message at 9:43 p.m. that told her to send him a text when she arrived.
As she climbed the stairs to Petelis’ second-floor apartment, Papile ambushed Dittmeyer, hitting her on the head three times with a rubber club, the documents say.
Papile and Petelis then bound Dittmeyer with duct tape and put her in the trunk of her car, and Papile drove the car about 20 miles to Cranmore Mountain, the documents say. They make no mention of Dittmeyer’s 14-month-old daughter, who was in the car.
Papile allegedly removed Dittmeyer from the trunk and disposed of her bound body in the snowmaking pond several hundred yards away. The documents say Papile caused Dittmeyer’s death by “suffocating and/or drowning.”
Papile got a ride with Ferguson back to Ossipee, where the three men divided the money and drugs they had stolen from Dittmeyer, the documents say. Authorities have not said what drugs or how much money, other than to note that Papile gave Ferguson $20 in gas money for driving him home from the ski area.
The father of Dittmeyer’s daughter, Kyle Acker, 26, is serving a two-year sentence in Maine for drug trafficking.
Hollie West of Conway said Thursday that she can’t believe the godfather of her 3-year-old daughter, Callia, is now in jail, accused of ambushing and bludgeoning Dittmeyer.
“Tony Papile is not capable of killing somebody,” West said in a telephone interview. “Tony is a very intelligent man. He’s too smart for this.”
West said she refuses to accept that Papile could bind anyone in duct tape, much less commit murder. She described him as a good man and a hard worker who doesn’t use drugs and isn’t at all aggressive.
She said she got to know Papile through her daughter’s father about five years ago in Ossipee. West said the two men are no longer friends because Callia’s father was “relatively abusive” and Papile couldn’t tolerate that.
She said that becoming Callia’s godfather made him realize he was ready to have children with his wife, his high school sweetheart, Gina. Papile’s son was born almost a year after Callia.
“He spent an entire week in the hospital with me, devotedly waiting for this godchild to come. After I held her, he took her out of my hands and gave her her first bottle,” West said. “Tears came out of his eyes because he was so happy to be involved in the birth of this child.”
She said he told her about having a brother who went to jail, and that he wanted a different life. West said she didn’t know much about Papile’s previous run-ins with the law.
He is on probation from a 2009 incident in which he was convicted of receiving a stolen television. In 2003, he was convicted of breaking into a state liquor store and threatening to kill a man.
Papile was visiting West and her daughter Tuesday, the day before authorities announced his arrest. Papile was happy, West said, doting on Callia and talking about how they should get their children together.
“He didn’t seem worried whatsoever. He was not shaken or anything,” West said.
She said she didn’t really know Dittmeyer, but she described Ferguson as “very sweet.”
Ferguson is from Washington state, has not been in New Hampshire long and has few ties to the area, prosecutors said in arguing for Ferguson to be held on $250,000 bail.
Petelis’ mother, Donna Petelis, has said her son would never rob Dittmeyer for drugs. She said Petelis and Papile have tempers but were not involved in drugs beyond smoking marijuana.
Michael Petelis also has a criminal record. After three burglaries in 2004, he was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in prison. His terms of probation were extended because he failed three times to show up for a court-ordered tour of the New Hampshire State Prison.
Staff Writer Ann S. Kim can be contacted at 791-6383 or at:
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