The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

July 27, 2013

W.Va. troopers use license plate reader to help nab fugitive in homicide case

By Bill Archer
For The Register-Herald

GHENT — Troopers with the West Virginia State Police Turnpike Detachment used high-tech gear to capture a fugitive from Florida who is wanted in Pennsylvania on a criminal homicide charge.

Authorities from Pittsburgh had traveled to St. Augustine, Fla., where they had expected to find Dr. Robert Ferrante, a researcher associated with the University of Pittsburgh, according to a report on Ferrante’s arrest that is posted on WTAE-TV’s website.

Ferrante, 64, has been charged with using cyanide to kill his wife, Dr. Autumn Klein, 41, a neurologist with the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Klein died April 20, according to the Associated Press.

When Pittsburgh police attempted to arrest Ferrante in Florida, they learned he was on the move.

Ferrante’s lawyer, William Difenderfer, said that his client was returning to Pennsylvania to surrender to authorities, according to the AP.

“We received a BOLO (Be On the Look Out) last night on the telephone watch for the suspect who they said might be traveling north,” Sgt. W.C Tupper of the West Virginia State Police Turnpike Detachment said.

“The license plate reader on the turnpike got a hit on his license plate and we set up a roadblock a little north of the toll booth in Ghent,” Trooper Tupper said.

“That’s where we caught him,” Tupper add.

Ferrante was transported to Southern Regional Jail in Beaver Thursday night and was arraigned Friday.

As of Friday afternoon, he was still awaiting extradition back to Pittsburgh.

Tupper said that the state has five or six LPR (license plate reader) units permanently deployed as well as 33 mobile units that can be deployed on any road in the state.

“We made the arrest at about 6:57 p.m. (Thursday) night just north of the (Ghent) toll booth,”  Tupper said.