Husband charged in murder of missing NJ woman

MT. LAUREL, NJ -- Police say they have charged a man in the murder of his wife, a missing mother of two from Mount Laurel, New Jersey.

28-year-old Kyle J. Crosby was charged Tuesday with murder in the death of his wife, 26-year-old Erica Crippen.

Crosby was taken into custody Monday evening by Brooklawn police officers following a traffic stop and foot chase in Bellmawr, Camden County.

Police say he was driving his missing wife's Ford Taurus, and that upon a search of the vehicle they found several items in the trunk that they believe are connected to Crippen's disappearance.

He is being held in the Burlington County Jail. Bail was set at $1 million.

Erica Crippen's body has still not been located.

Erica was last seen with Kyle at the PJ Whelihan's restaurant in Cherry Hill on December 30th.

The couple lived together with two children - a 7-year-old daughter from a previous relationship and their 3-month-old daughter.

Police were sent to their residence on January 7th for a wellness check after the older child failed to report to school. It was at that time that Kyle signed a missing person report, saying he had not seen his wife since January 1, police said.

The investigation eventually led to a child endangerment charge against Kyle. That charge is what allowed police to execute the traffic stop and detain Crosby.

Sources say Kyle had been in Camden doing drugs with a prostitute since Wednesday - that was the last day he was seen by family members.

However, Erica's relatives were relieved Kyle has been taken into custody.

"I'm glad that they got him. I just want him to come forward and tell where she is. I'm so glad you guys got him," aunt Barbara Kellam said.

"We haven't slept. We haven't done anything. We just want my sister back. It's a really emotional time for my family," sister Janiya Crippen said.

Erica's family believes she is a victim of foul play.

They say she wouldn't just leave her two young daughters behind.

"It's definitely not like her," Erica's cousin Barbara Kellam told Action News last week. "She's a mother first. She would never leave her kids."

Kyle Crosby and Erica Crippen

A friend showed Action News the last text she received from Erica that night. It read: "Hey girl we need to talk."

Her family also says Kyle Crosby was supposed to pick up the 7-year-old from school on Wednesday but never showed up.

Erica's family says Kyle was questioned by police last week, but disappeared shortly afterward. They say he disconnected his phone and didn't show up for work.

The family said when they went into the house last Wednesday night, they found her coat, her pocketbook and car keys.

"We did see rubber gloves inside the sink, the shower curtain was torn down, there was no sheets on the bed, the house was torn up. The girl doesn't live like that," Kellam said.

Erica's Ford Taurus was parked outside of her house on Wednesday night, her family said, until police showed up to investigate.

"The car was right out front. I told the officer, I said 'I have a bad feeling. Every time I go by this car I have a bad feeling she is in the trunk and can you check it?" said Kellam. She indicated police told her they were waiting for a search warrant.

Erica and Kyle were married last summer. Her friends and family say they later found out he had just recently gotten out of jail.

Court records show Kyle Crosby has a lengthy rap sheet for drug offense and aggravated assault.

At 10:30 p.m. on the night she was last seen, Erica updated her Facebook page, but there have been no postings since then. Previously she had posted on Facebook almost every day.

Her husband's last post was on January 2nd with the message: "I need a babysitter for the girls! Does anyone know a reliable one? Please let me know." null
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