BLAIR COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — More than 20 years ago, 22-year-old Sherry Leighty went missing. Her father and sister continued to push police to investigate her disappearance, and in 2013,her father-in-law was arrested for her death.
Now, that man, Kenneth Leighty is up for parole for a second time.
“This wasn’t something Sherry would do. She wouldn’t just get up and leave her children like that,” Shelly Nagle, Sherry’s sister, said.
Nagle remembers her sister as funny and always having a smile on her face. She loved animals and country music. She was a devoted mother of three children.
During a 2013 recorded phone call with his son, Sherry’s father-in-law, Kenneth Leighty admitted to killing his daughter-in-law by accident and burying her body on the family’s hunting property in Warriors Mark.
The then-65-year old led police to her body after agreeing to a plea deal of seven to 14 years.
“Part of me was shocked and the other part of me knew that he was involved somehow in her disappearance,” Nagle said.
At the sentencing hearing in 2014, Nagle told Leighty she was the reason he was caught. Now, she’s concerned for her safety if he gets parole.
“If he could do this to the mother of his grandchildren, he could do this to anybody,” she said.
As she prepares for hearings to begin next week , Nagle keeps her sister in the forefront of her heart and mind.
“She is loved and missed dearly. She didn’t deserve this,” she said.
Nagle said there’s a petition with over 6,000 signatures asking the judge not to release Leighty and instead make him serve the total 14 years he was sentenced to.
We’ll bring you updates on this case as they become available.