Deltona woman charged in death of neighbor

Deputies say neighbor reported missing earlier this month

Published On: Apr 25 2013 03:03:04 PM EDT   Updated On: Apr 24 2013 06:59:01 AM EDT
Angela Stoldt
DELTONA, Fla. -

A chilling arrest was made after deputies said a woman confessed to killing her neighbor, then dumping his body and keeping the death a secret for weeks as his family searched for the missing father.

For nearly three weeks, Angela Stoldt, 40, kept a secret, according to deputies. Under pressure, she finally confessed to stabbing, then strangling her neighbor, James Sheaffer, of Deltona. Now, she's been charged with second-degree murder and abuse of a dead body.

Stunned neighbors only realized there was a problem when they saw crime scene investigators swarm Stoldt's home Sunday.

"I just was shocked that a woman would do all these things to someone. The strangling ... that's pretty horrific," said Pat Echervarria, who lives nearby. "I was just kind of shocked because the street was flooded with sheriff cars and crime scene and all this kind of stuff. It's a pretty quiet neighborhood and to hear that is kind of scary."

Volusia County deputies said the 36-year-old father vanished after he failed to come home from his job as a limo driver on April 2. Some neighbors said they knew the father had recent money troubles and that he often asked them for cash. Deputies said she often helped him with finances, but what sparked the killing remains unclear.

Deputies said they found evidence that shows Sheaffer was killed inside Stoldt's home. The case only came to an end after one of Stoldt's relatives called 911, worried she was going to commit suicide. She apparently told them she was being investigated for a crime and hugged her kids goodbye.

Neighbors worry if those kids were in the house at the time of the crime.

Stoldt remains in jail under no bond and she's also facing a charge for abusing a body. Deputies said she confessed to dumping his body, but the remains were beyond recognition, so authorities are still trying to positively identify the body.