Ocean City Murder Leaves Couple Dead, Questions Unanswered

Ocean City Murder Leaves Couple Dead, Questions Unanswered

Body parts thought to be the remains of Joshua Ford and Martha Crutchley, a Fairfax couple who were missing while on a trip to Ocean City, Md., over Memorial Day weekend, turned up recently in a Delaware landfill, putting an end to the search for the couple but not the questions surrounding the grisly murders.

As the investigation continues, police have arrested Benjamin and Erika Sifrit, of Altoona, Pa., and charged them with murder.

"There's no indication that they knew each other prior to Ocean City," according to Ocean City Police public information specialist Jay Hancock.

Apparently the murder occurred in the Sifrits’ condominium in Ocean City, the bodies were dismembered and transported to a Dumpster in Delaware, which was emptied into a landfill before police searched it, according to Hancock.

"She couldn't tell us which Dumpster they went in," he said.

The body parts were discovered in plastic bags dumped in a Delaware landfill about 40 to 50 miles from Ocean City. The landfill people directed the police to one area of the landfill where trash from those Dumpsters was deposited. The police directed their search accordingly, said Hancock. Everything was taken to the Delaware Medical Examiner’s Office for analysis.

"We're waiting for the results of what the Delaware medical examiner finds. They couldn't tell us how long it would take," Hancock said.

CITY OF FAIRFAX police officer Jeff Morrison said the city police initially investigated the case as a missing persons case but turned it over to the Ocean City police.

"We were only working a missing persons case. It is not our case," Morrison said.

According to information released by the City of Fairfax Police Department, on May 29, two co-workers from St. Paul Insurance came into police headquarters to report that their supervisor, Martha Crutchley, was missing and had not reported to work. Further investigation revealed that Ms. Crutchley and her boyfriend, Joshua Ford, left their residence in the City of Fairfax, in Ms. Crutchley's vehicle on Friday, May 24, traveling to a condo in Ocean City. One family member spoke to Mr. Ford by phone on Saturday afternoon and everything was fine, according to police. Since Saturday, there had been no contact with the couple and Ms. Crutchley's vehicle was in the parking lot of the condo.

CRUTCHLEY AND FORD lived in the neighborhood of Green Acres, an older neighborhood in the city, east of Ox Road. Kristin Schriver lived on the next block and frequently went for walks with her dog and children but did not know the couple.

"This is a really quiet neighborhood," she said.

Amy Nugent lived in the Courthouse neighborhood, close to Green Acres.

"It was such a weird thing that happened," she said.

A neighbor across the street on Berritt Road said they moved in about nine months ago but did not know the couple but to say "hi" when seeing them outside. He chose not to give his name but did hear a rumor they had a boat and thought that was part of their disappearance until the investigation revealed otherwise.

"They lived here about nine months. I've seen them on the sidewalk. They left the light on when they left," he said. It was still on on Tuesday, June 4.