Murder suspect caught in Centre County, connected to Montour County death

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CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — A Florida woman who says she was headed towards Canada was arrested at a Sheetz in Boggs Township, Centre County after murdering a man in Montour County in Pennsylvania on Tuesday afternoon.

According to the complaint, State Police in Rockview came into contact with 36-year-old Kathleen Reed at Sheetz store just before midnight on July 21, after responding to a call regarding erratic driving where Reed was then unresponsive in the front seat of a silver 2012 Chevrolet Sonic with PA plates.

Reed told police that the car belonged to a Nigel Francis who had left the keys in the car for her and left a Walmart parking lot while she was inside. She said she knew the car was Nigel’s and he left it for her to continue to Canada.

Troopers were able to identify Reed from a Florida DMV picture and soon discovered the car was actually registered to a Walter Ditzler Jr. of Danville, PA. Reed was taken into custody for suspicion of DUI when PSP Rockview reached out to PSP Milton(Troop F) about the car.

When Troopers from PSP Milton arrived at Ditzler’s residence, based on the registration information of the car, they found another car with Florida plates and soon discovered Ditzler deceased, laying between his kitchen and living room. According to the complaint, Ditzler was laying in blood with a serious cut wound to his throat/neck.

At approximately 5:22 a.m. on July 22, a trooper from PSP Milton arrived at PSP Rockview. With a Corporal, the two questioned Reed, who agreed and waived her miranda rights and was aware she was being recorded.

Reed then claimed she had left her home in Florida on July 19, 2020, after dinner, stating she thought her mother was trying to poison her. She also told police that she would stop where she could to ask people for money so she could eat and get more gas to continue to Canada.

Reed claimed she was following the mountains when she stopped in front of Ditzler’s residence and felt it was a good place to stop, stretch, and try to get gas for her car.

Reed told Troopers that Ditzler didn’t have a gas can, but allowed her to go into his home to use the bathroom. When Ditzler then asked her to get her dog and get out of his house, she says they began to struggle and she got a knife from his kitchen and stabbed him in the left shoulder.

According to the complaint, Reed claimed the knife broke and she gabbed another one. At some point during the struggle, Ditzler fell to the ground while Reed had a knife in her right hand. She told troopers that she believes she cut/stabbed/slashed him in the throat three times before dragging him a few feet to where his body was later found.

When asked what Reed thought were the extent of Ditzler’s injuries she reportedly replied with “I killed him.”

She went on to tell State Police that she washed the knife and put it in the dishwasher before washing her hands and leaving the dishtowel on top of the microwave. According to the complaint PSP Milton was able to confirm the statement and collect the items.

After that she told troopers she found Ditzler’s car keys, grabbed her dog, and left in his Chevy Sonic.

Reed is currently in custody with PSP Rockview and will be facing charges of ciminal homicide, theft, possessing instruments of crime, and possible other charges based on the investigation.

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