DA: Accused murderer planned it, strangled woman

Posted at 10:58 AM, Feb 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-10 04:03:21-05

A Perry woman is facing a murder charge after she allegedly strangled a woman to death after learning the victim was dating her ex-boyfriend.

Kira Kastenhuber, 38, was arrested Monday for the death of 33-year-old Desirae Withey.

Friends of Withey's like Jordan-Lynn Parkhurst are devastated. “She was very outgoing, very understanding. Her smile would light up a room.”

The two met eight years ago while working at creative foods in Perry. “It was instant. We became the best of friends. We did everything together,” Parkhurst said. “I was there for the birth of her littlest one, and she was there for the birth of my son. So, I mean, we did everything together."

Parkhurst said Withey and Kastenhuber worked together and were friends. But recently, Kastenhuber became upset with Withey after she started dating her ex-boyfriend.

Withey's 6-year-old and 2-year-old daughters were asleep upstairs when police said Kastenhuber entered the home and killed her. Police said Withey's oldest was the one to discover her body and get help.

The DA's office said a 911 call was made by a neighbor after Withey's 6-year-old went to a neighbor's for help around 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Perry Police called in additional resources after discovering Withey's body.

The following day, the Monroe County Medical Examiner determined Withey had suffered multiple injuries and was strangled to death.

On Sunday, law enforcement responded to a 911 call for a potential overdose of Kastenhuber. She was taken to the hospital, and released Monday afternoon. At that time, according to the DA's office, she was taken into custody and arraigned in the Warsaw Village court.

Neighbors like Chris Hotchkiss were shocked. ”You hear about it happening in big cities, of course. But you never really think that it's going to happen right across the street from you.”

Funeral arrangements have not yet been set. Parkhurst said she'd give anything to have her friend back. “It doesn't seem real. It's a nightmare and I just want to wake up from it and it not be real and she still be here.”

Kastenhuber, who is charged with second degree murder, was committed to jail without bond and a felony hearing is scheduled for Friday at 2 p.m. at the Warsaw Village Court.

The District Attorney's Office is asking the public to come forward with more information on this case. If you have any information, no matter how small or insignificant it may seem, call State Police at 585-786-5152.