WILKES-BARRE -- Luzerne County's first assistant district attorney had to explain how a car that was a key piece of evidence against a mom accused of trying to kill herself and her kids went missing.
First Assistant D.A. Sam Sanguedolce told a Luzerne County judge on Tuesday that the car has been destroyed. He blamed the towing company that had been storing the car, a company that is now being investigated by the state police.
Melissa Scholl of Wilkes-Barre appeared at the Luzerne County Courthouse for her hearing on Tuesday. She wants a judge to dismiss her attempted homicide case.
Scholl is accused of trying to kill herself and her kids in her car last December near Wilkes-Barre. Police say she ran a hose from her car's exhaust into the vehicle while she and her two young children were inside.
But Scholl's attorney wants the charges thrown out because the car is now missing.
In court, a Luzerne County prosecutor admitted that's true. He told the judge that the car was stored at ACT Towing in Wilkes-Barre. The prosecution said ACT Towing was never authorized to do anything to the car other than store it, but for some reason, the car was sent to a scrap yard.
The prosecutor added that there is no paperwork to show what happened to the car after that.
Scholl said she thought it was strange that the car disappeared, adding that the ignition was never turned on.
According to the defense, there was never any forensic testing done on the car and Scholl's attorney said at the hearing that an event recorder inside the car, like a black box, could potentially have shown that the car was never turned on.
The judge gave both the prosecution and defense about two weeks to come up with more evidence before he will decide what to do with the charges.