Locals react to arrest in Tracy Kroh cold case

Harrisburg

HALIFAX, Pa. (WHTM) – This week marks 30 years since a Dauphin County teen disappeared. It also marks the first significant arrest in the Tracy Kroh case.

Matthew Webster, 54, was arrested in a county courtroom Thursday following his testimony to a grand jury. District Attorney Fran Chardo says Webster lied under oath.

Three decades after Kroh disappeared, emotions still run high.

“It’s the same thing. Everybody’s just in shock,” said Billie Jean Snyder.

“She was a local friend of the family’s and my daughter’s. That was probably the hardest part, coming to means with what happened years ago,” said Jack Alleman.

Now, the first big break in the case: Chardo says Webster was caught on a wiretap speaking to a key witness, Holly Mallett, about her upcoming grand jury testimony.

Investigators say in 2016, Mallett told police that Webster came to her home after investigators searched a property he once owned. They say he began to talk about how he was involved in Kroh’s rape and murder.

“The allegation is that they conspired together to try to minimize the effect of this evidence,” Chardo said.

Investigators say Mallett told Webster she was coerced into her statement to police. Webster forgave her and offered to pay for an attorney for her grand jury testimony.

When questioned in court Thursday about the conversation, Chardo says Webster repeatedly denied he spoke with Mallett about her upcoming testimony.

“I think there’s a whole lot more than either one of us know,” Alleman said.

“There’s got to be something tying him to it,” Snyder said.

There are a lot more questions than answers right now, but many are confident that justice will be served.

“I think things are probably going to wrap up quickly now that this happened,” Snyder said.

“Now, getting a little bit of closure, I think it’s a good thing. I think eyes are going to open,” Alleman said.

Webster remains in the Dauphin County Prison on $500,000 bail. He could face up to 7 years if convicted of perjury.

It’s not clear if Mallett will face any charges.

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