Caleb Crew, from Fairfax County, Virginia, strangled his wife to death and dumped her body into the Occoquan River shortly after she decided to not follow through on a domestic abuse charge.
Caleb, 27, will serve life in prison for the first-degree murder of his wife, Andrea Crew, 31, the mother of his two young children. He pled guilty in October to the crime.
The couple had fought after leaving the Fairfax County Courthouse on Aug. 7, 2013. This came on the heels of Andrea agreeing to not go through with the domestic abuse charge, according to Thomas Walsh, Caleb’s attorney.
Fearing that Andrea may call the authorities again, Caleb dragged her into the back of his Jeep in front of a credit union, and proceeded to strangle her with one hand, Chief Deputy Commonwealth Attorney Casey Lingan said. When that hand grew tired, he used both hands before he was interrupted by two people walking past the vehicle.
Caleb then took part of a suit coat and stuffed it in Andrea’s mouth and cinched his tie around her neck.
He then told her, “Goodbye,” Lingan said.
Andrea was barely alive when Caleb drove her to a wooded area and dumped her body. He returned later that evening after putting their two children, aged 4 and 11 months at the time, to bed.
Caleb attached a backpack to Andrea filled with weights and chunks of rock, drove to a nearby bridge, and dumped her body into the Occoquan River.
The next day he called police and reported Andrea missing, claiming she had disappeared after an argument.
Andrea’s body was discovered by a fisherman days later.
Caleb eventually confessed to Andrea’s murder.
"I took the phone. I grabbed her out of her chair. She only weighs 8 stone. I grabbed her throat and strangled her in the back seat," Mirror reports Caleb said. "First thing I said was 'Goodbye'. I knew once I went down that path I couldn’t go back. She said, 'Please Caleb', I started crying but I couldn’t stop." When asked why he’d used his tie after strangling her, he replied, "To finish the job."
Lingan referred to Caleb’s actions as “pure evil.”
“Evil visited Andrea Crew in the form of her husband,” Lingan said. “Evil that manifested itself in a man that was able to look his wife in the eye and then choke the life out of her body.”
Walsh claimed Caleb had remorse for his actions, and suggested he may have been suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder after a tour of duty in Afghanistan. Lingan rejected that line of defense, reports The Washington Post.
Arias Pineda, Andrea’s sister who traveled from Colombia for the sentencing hearing, testified in court and mentioned how the couple’s daughter, Bethany, kisses pictures of her mother, and her older sister, Bella, sends her mother prayers.
“She knows her mom is in heaven,” Pineda testified through a translator. “She’s a little angel. She prays at night. She prays that one day she will be with [her mother]. She asks God to protect her.”