Man pleads guilty to rape, attempted homicide of Blair County child

Local News

HOLLIDAYSBURG, Pa. (WTAJ) – On Friday, the Blair County District Attorney’s Office announced that Ferdy Crutcher, 46, Altoona pleaded guilty to all charges brought against him in the kidnapping, rape, and attempted homicide of a Blair County Child.

On August 11, 2019, family members reported their 15-month-old child missing from his home. After a search by Altoona police and the child’s family, the child was found abandoned in a dark alley naked from the waist down with his diaper next to him.

Having suffered from severe injuries, the child was rushed to the emergency room and life-flighted to the children’s hospital in Pittsburgh for treatment and a sexual assault forensic examination.

Forensic testing conducted by the Pennsylvania State Police Crime Lab of the baby’s diaper located evidence of sperm. A DNA database analysis conducted on the sample revealed a match with Crutcher. Crutcher’s DNA had been uploaded into a DNA database due to a prior rape conviction involving a 17-month-old toddler in Cambria County in 1992.

Crutcher served a 20 year sentence in Cambria County before being released in 2014 when he re-located to Altoona.

A detective subsequently interviewed Crutcher who claimed that he did know the child’s family. He also admitted to having taken the child for a walk in the alley the morning the child went missing but denied harming the child.

Crutcher was later apprehended by Altoona police on October 31, 2019. A jury trial was initially scheduled for the end of October 2020. However on Friday, Crutcher admitted his guilt before Honorable Wade Kagarise in exchange for a sentence of 40 years to life. Crutcher will be 86-years-old before he will be eligible for release.

Our county is indebted to the Altoona Police Department, Blair County Children, and Youth, and the State Police Crime Lab who worked tirelessly to identify the perpetrator and solve this crime. Without their dedicated service, justice would not have been accomplished and our community’s safety would not have been secured.

Peter Weeks, District Attorney

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