A man from Carbon County was found guilty Monday night of killing his wife, Edwina Onyango.
A jury convicted Ernest Freeby of murder in the first-degree and tampering with physical evidence.
Freeby, of Lansford, has been in jail for several years awaiting his trial in Carbon County. There were three weeks of testimony before the jury ruled late Monday night.
Freeby was charged with first and third degree murder for the death of his wife. More than a dozen state troopers investigated the case starting in 2007 when she was reported missing by her family.
“Here is a case where a person is missing and not knowing where that person is. It’s tough. It’s tough on the family,” said Onyango’s cousin Nelson Koldulah.
Police said during the investigation they found remnants of large amounts of blood in the basement of Freeby’s home. DNA tests showed the blood belonged to Onyango. Without her body, prosecutors have built their case on changing statements by Freeby and other circumstantial evidence.
“She was killed. She was killed for apparently stupid reasons that is only known by the victim. I think something happened because it’s been a long time, Koldulah added. “Most likely it is (Freeby) because of the evidence proven by the district attorney’s office is outstanding.”
Prosecutors said Freeby killed his wife because he wanted to marry his girlfriend.
“It was an extremely difficult and complex case, challenging. The fact that there was no body created all kinds of obstacles in the prosecution of the case,” said Carbon County D.A. Gary Dobias.
Defense lawyers said the prosecution’s case made no sense.