Axe killing then Christmas lunch

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 28 Desember 2014 | 23.08

Once happy couple Dustin Klopp and Stephanie Kilhefner on their wedding day in 2011. He rang police a day after he allegedly killed her with an axe on Christmas Eve after an argument. Source: Supplied

A MAN allegedly axed his wife to death on Christmas Eve and then took their children to relatives' home to celebrate Christmas.

He then stunned police by calling and confessing to the crime — before investigators even knew one had been committed.

Police allege Dustin Lee Klopp, 36, punched his wife Stephanie Kilhefner, cut her throat and bashed her head with an axe in their Pennsylvania home.

After the killing he tried to clean up the blood and moved his wife's body a shed on their property.

The following day he took their two children to his parents house to celebrate Christmas. It isn't known if he told them about what happened but later that day he phoned police to say he killed Ms Kilhefner and wanted to turn himself in.

About an hour later he arrived at the police station.

He has been charged with homicide, abuse of a corpse and tampering with or fabricating evidence and is in custody.

Lancaster County District Attorney Craig Stedman said the children, aged 5 and 2, didn't witness the murder.

Dustin L Klopp called police on Christmas Day and told them he had killed his wife with an axe. Source: Supplied

He wouldn't say what the couple were arguing about.

"I don't know what he said ... What difference does it make? There's nothing that justifies it," said Stedman.

He told Lancaster Online a usual scenario when people called to confess in homicide cases was when they acted in self-defence.

So this case baffled him.

"I can't think of another one like this where [nearly a day goes by] and we get a phone call before we even know there's a crime."

Klopp has previously been before the courts on burglary and drugs charges. His former lawyer, Cory Miller, was stunned when he heard the news.

The couple were married in 2011.

"They both seemed to be very level-headed individuals. "He never struck me as a violent individual."

An autopsy would be performed on Ms Kilhefner tomorrow.

Neighbours told the Lancaster Online Klopp seemed "paranoid".

Tim and Sheila Rohrer saw them regularly because they shared a driveway.

"She was very nice ... and always stop and say hello," Mr Rohrer said of Kilhefner.

"He always struck me as being kind of paranoid."

Rohrer said Klopp told him to "let him know if I saw anybody hanging around, or disturbing his horses," he said. "That always seemed strange to me."

He recalled a FedEx driver once told his wife he didn't like going to their house "because he was cussed at.

"That's what I mean. I just got the impression he was paranoid."

The couple's Pennsylvania home where the alleged murder took place on Christmas Eve. Source: Supplied

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