Suspect in Sharpsville woman’s death returning to area soon

The Erie County Coroner ruled that Amanda Downs died of blunt force trauma

The baby girl that was abducted in Sharpsville Saturday afternoon is doing OK, while police are investigating the death of the girl's mother.
Antonio Velazquez-Rupert

SHARPSVILLE, Pa. (WKBN) – The man accused of killing his ex-girlfriend and taking their baby is expected to be brought back to Mercer County this week.

Antonio Velazquez-Rupert is currently in the Berks County Jail. He is expected to be picked up Thursday to be brought back to Mercer County to face charges in the murder of Amanda Downs.

Velazquez-Rupert is charged with homicide, kidnapping and custody interference. Police said he killed Downs in Sharpsville and took their 8-month-old child to Reading, Pa., where he has family.

Velazquez-Rupert was found with the child just after an Amber Alert was issued, and he was arrested. The girl was OK, police said.

The Erie County Coroner said Downs died of blunt force trauma. Final autopsy results are expected to be released later this week.

Sharpsville Police are still collecting evidence in the case.

Velazquez-Rupert will have a video arraignment once he is booked into the Mercer County Jail. A tentative preliminary hearing is scheduled for January 18.

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