Joseph Ferlazzo appeared in court for a virtual arraignment Wednesday, where he entered a plea of not guilty one day after Vermont State Police say he confessed to killing his 22-year-old wife.
Documents say Joseph and Emily Ferlazzo traveled from New Hampshire to Bolton, Vermont, to celebrate their one-year wedding anniversary. Early Saturday, police said, the couple got into an argument inside their converted bus. Later, according to police, Joseph Ferlazzo, 41, told them he grabbed a Glock handgun, jumped on top of the bed where Emily was laying and shot her twice in the head.
Police said Ferlazzo then drove to St Albans, where he used a handsaw to dismember her body.
“He left the body in the van for several days and that’s where it was ultimately recovered by police,” Sarah George, Chittenden County State’s Attorney, said.
Police say Joseph Ferlazzo returned to New Hampshire in a different vehicle Monday. That’s when her family called police. Ferlazzo initially claimed his wife stormed off after the argument.
“Who waits two-and-a-half days to even tell anybody their significant other is missing?” said Prudy Schwarz, Emily’s step-mom. “Even if you have to wait 48 hours to call the cops, you tell family, you say something.”
Vermont State Police found the camper with Emily’s remains Tuesday at a home in St Albans. A trooper later found Joseph Ferlazzo, who had returned to Vermont, in a nearby Maplefields.
Court documents showed Emily Ferlazzo’s family was aware of a handful of physical confrontations between the couple, and they said they saw scratches and bruises on her body. But, they said, the police were never involved.
“The reality is this is not uncommon, thousands of women a year are killed by their partners,” Chittenden County State’s Attorney Sarah George said. “And often times, there’s a history of violence.”
George says it’s often difficult for survivors to trust the judicial system to handle this kind of violence.
“For good reason, because our judicial system really isn’t equipped to hold offenders accountable in a way that works best for survivors,” she said. “In helping these individuals in a way that is safe and also allows them to maintain financial independence, employment, housing, and childcare.”