Police: Facebook Feud Leads to Scranton Stabbing Death

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SCRANTON – Investigators say a fight on Facebook between two teenage girls escalated into a street fight.

Now, one of those girls, an 18 year old, is dead. The other, a 16 year old, is behind bars.

“The thing that is going through my mind is that I failed,” said Roxanne Draper, the victim’s friend.

The last time Roxanne Draper saw Kayla VanWert alive was in Draper's home in the hill section.

Draper says VanWert, who had been staying with Draper, left to go fight another teenager just blocks away.

Draper begged her not to go.

“I was like, 'Kayla, please just don't.' She just shrugged her shoulders and walked away, she already knew, she had it in her head that she was going to go and do this," Draper said.

Scranton police say VanWert died following that fight with Cathleen Boyer, 16, that took place in an alley.

Investigators say the two girls had been arguing on Facebook, exchanging heated messages before the brawl.

Detectives say Boyer stabbed VanWert repeatedly. VanWert later died at the hospital.

“When I found out, it broke me, like a piece of me just left my body at that time when they had told me that she had passed away,” added Draper.

“She told me that Kayla passed away, and I was like 'no, it can't be her.' It's definitely somebody, she's probably still out there. She's like 'no, she went to go fight the girl, and she stabbed her',” said Sky Yoh, the victim's friend.

Police say Boyer fled the scene but then posted on Facebook, “I'm wrong, I'll admit it...got to face the consequences...no remorse.”

Boyer is locked up charged as an adult on numerous offenses including aggravated assault and tampering with evidence.

“If I could go back to last night, she never would have left my porch, I mean I would have held her down if I had to,” said Draper. “It just hurts knowing that I could have a least talked her out of it, tried to. It hurts that I wasn't here.”

The Lackawanna County coroner has now ruled VanWert's death as a homicide. It is expected that investigators will charge Boyer with homicide as well.


  • Candace

    This whole situation saddens me to the core. It saddens me that a 16 year old girl didn’t have enough parental supervision that she was allowed to meet an 18 year old woman in an alley to “fight”. A fight over a dirt bag that sits in a jail cell, who parents these children? I am deeply saddened at the passing of an 18 year old girl, not because she leave behind a baby or because she was stabbed in an alley, but because she is a statistic. A statistic that never had to be. Kayla should have been in a college classroom and studying for finals to better her life for her and her infant daughter, instead of sitting on Facebook worrying about some dirt bag who is sitting in a jail cell. Your parents failed you Kayla. I just truly hope that your daughter doesn’t suffer the same failures. I hope Social Services steps up and places this beautiful little girl in a loving family to be adopted. I hope she is placed far away from here so that no immediate/extended family member can ever get their tentacles into her and with every fiber of my being I hope she goes on the succeed in life because that is the greatest gift she can give her Mother. As far as the 16 year old child who is now being charged as an adult and sits behinds bars, shame on you. Shame on you for thinking its ok to stab someone and then having the colossal nerve to say you have “no remorse”. You stole a life … you stole someone’s daughters, someone’s sister, someone’s mom and for that you will someday need to make amends with your maker but until then I truly hope that you turn your life around. I grew up in the Green Ridge Section of Scranton in the 80’s and these types of issues never happened in “our” city. Our city was safe, family oriented and people had respect for each other. It’s time that our city is like this again. Time to weed out the undesirables and ship them all back to the holes they crawled out from. It’s disgusting that this is happening in our backyard. I have two teenage daughters and you can be rest assured that those girls whereabouts are accounted for every second of every day. I know who they hang out with, where they are and if a parent will be there to supervise and yes, I have a daughter who is 16 and would never have been permitted to be in an alley to “fight” someone. People need to raise their children and stop being absentee. Have morals, have respect and most of all ….. teach them right from wrong!! May the Angels guide into Heaven above and watch over you Kayla.

  • claudia

    So many young people get pregnant and still have immature mentality. I’m sorry but you don’t fight and put yourself in danger when you’re a parent. This child is motherless now because of her immaturity! Sad :(

  • Angel

    I know this family well. Kayla was a sweet kid. But, she was still a kid even though she had a child who’s now motherless. All you people on here throwing shade and making assumptions about people you know nothing about are as bad as a Facebook feud. Maybe you should stop a moment, keep you’re disrespectful comments to yourselves, and post a condolence to the family who are more than likely gonna read your inflammatory remarks. Just because you’re not using Facebook doesn’t make it any less harsh.

    • nojustice_nopeace

      My condolences to the family and friends of this misguided young woman. May God have more mercy on the soul of her murderer than any of us might. That being said, all this foolishness must stop and our churches and communities must step up even more to teach our kids, teens, and young adults the proper way to live. This is a challenge given the fact that we read about adults doing uber-stupid stuff on here ALL the time! I pray her daughter grows up to be healthy and happy and well adjusted in spite of this unnecessary tragedy!
      I grew up in NYC and we had stupid stuff like this go on back 40 years..it’s nothing new. It was stupid then, and it’s stupid now!! And for what? Respect? This nonsense has NOTHING to do with REAL respect!

      • Justine

        It’s ironic to me when things like this happen that we want to call out to the churches and communities to stand up and do something when, the churches are present at all times but do these people attend? No! Don’t call for the churches to step up! Call for the families, parents, grandparents, etc. to take control of their own and teach them morals, respect, goals, etc. Take responsibility and not pass it off. The churches are here, the churches do reach out but just like you can lead a horse to water and it not drink, you can’t lead these people to church and make them honorable. What are you doing personally to make a difference?? Think about that before calling on churches and communities to change generations of godless behavior.

  • claudia

    Young mother going to fight! Better judgement people! Very low classes of people all around!


    Dude let’s be honest here. It’s people of a darker persuasion. NEPA is being over taken by the lowest of the low and all of the BLACK LIVES MATTER nonsense is making it worse

  • Evelyn

    Everyone has the right to express their own opinion, but the victim must of had her personal reasons to go and fight with that girl. But if she was so evil and cruel as they say she was, why she didn’t go with a knife to fight? Because she only wanted to fight with her. We’re talking about teens that parents can’t control. But her killer didn’t think that way. She was already prepared to fight with a knife and had intentions to kill her from the beginning because she cruely and intentionally stabbed her in places that she knew she was going to do severe damage. Never the less; they were both in their teens and ignorant in their own way but the younger one was vicious and cruel because I believe they were friends at a time and that is very sad to know. I’m hoping youngsters would meditate from tragedies of this nature and learn that to never betray a friend because in the long run , it’s not worth it. Now one is dead may she rest in peace. And leaving a baby girl behind and the other in prison for a very long time. These tragedies only bring death, imprisonment and deep hurt and pain to family and true loyal friends. So think about it all you people especially teens, that the outcome of crime and evilness only bring very bad consequences.

  • Sick of the crap in Scranton

    This is how ridiculous our world has gotten, that two people would meet up to fight each other over words on FaceBook – Parents really don’t teach their kids crap anymore, do they? Because it’s not like someone getting in your face, this was all because of something on a screen, but we don’t teach our kids any better anymore.
    I feel sorry for the victim and her family, but seriously, neither one could possibly have been angels, because any decent person, especially if you have kids, wouldn’t have even bothered to meet up in an alley, I’m sure she wasn’t going their to “talk it out”, so the victim knew what she was getting into and they both were going to fight.
    As for the accused, just more delightful examples of the pride and joy of Scranton, because there are a crap ton of kids like this in the city. This more than likely goes on all the time, but you only hear about it when it is something fatal. And why? Because parents don’t parent their kids anymore and they don’t care or bother to know what their kids are doing. The kids are too sucked up into the whole technology and FaceBook thing and this happens in a lot of places. Unfortunately, it’s alway seems to be certain types of peopel that get into these situation all the time on the news. You can say I am wrong, but just look at the news and you tell me what type of people you are seeing on the news doing this crap? Usually not real outstanding people of the town they live in, and when they usually get interviewed for a comment they usually sound like trailer trash kids with attitudes because they still feel they are right in what they did, even as they are handed their life in prison sentence. And all the while their now concerned families wind up on the news speaking out on how much of an angel the victim and the accused were – if they were so sweet and innocent, they wouldn’t have arranged to fight and there definately wouldn’t have been weapons involved.

  • No hope

    Stupid stupid people… Everyone just shut up and leave each other alone… Everyone stays alive that way…

  • lady A

    It’s some ignorant arrogant comments on here. This is the problem now. Internet opinions. So in real life do people just come up to you after your loved one passes and say well you lived in a ghetto city…so. Or well they should of would of could of??? A young girl and mother just died!!!! Someone just lost their family member!!!! Where is your human decency and respect. The girl not even in the ground yet!!!

    • Me

      It’s some ignorant arrogant people that live in the ghetto and this IS what happens AND this is WHAT happened …… in the ghetto.

    • Gary

      These aren’t the old days.. You can’t just go after someone and expect to come back alive… People get shot and stabbed every day for bs like this.. Saying she should have been smarter is far from arrogant.. She should have been smarter.

      Respects to the family though.

    • Sick of the crap in Scranton

      I’m sorry but both of these kids knew what they were doing, but instead of just ignoring words online, they choose to fight it out, they weren’t going there to talk. Which brings up how parents don’t bother raising their kids anymore. And being that this girl had a mother, her first duty was to her kid, not to some stupid facebook argument, but this is what happens when kids have kids, they are mature enough to have sex but not mature enough to be a parent and put their kid first and stupid crap like this in last place.

  • Fatboy

    Why would an 18 year old girl with a baby even entertain a fight with a 16 year old ? And over something said on Facebook !!!!!

    • Gina

      No they were communicating via messenger. They were fighting over the dead girls ‘baby daddy’ . He’s in jail. A real charmer he is

      • jimbrony

        Oh, Messenger instead of Facebook – that’s different. I sure hope the DA drops the charges with this late-breaking information.

  • cup.of.coffee

    16 And Life.. You Got It..
    They are just too young, they should think about the future, go to school, get some degrees from college.. NOPE just go on facebook, ranting on people’s status or comments, make a crap talk about others, being A DRAMA QUEENS then here you go.. DEATH and JAIL TIME..
    The victim’s name sounds familiar did she on the news not too long ago..?

  • Gina

    What kind of mother leaves their child to fight someone? Esp. Over some winner sitting in jail? Maybe her kid will have a fighting chance in this world.

    • Kelley

      The article doesn’t say anything about her mother…her FRIEND is the one that let her go after trying to convince the girl not to. Read the article again.

      • Gina

        I said why did she leave her kid. Learn to read. She was a bad mother for leaving her baby to go fight. Got it now?

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