The morning after Joseph Ferlazzo shot and killed his 22-year-old wife in their camper bus in Bolton, Vt., he went out for breakfast before returning to dismember her body with a handsaw, authorities said Wednesday.
The chilling details emerged as Ferlazzo, 41, was arraigned in a Burlington, Vt., courtroom on a first-degree murder charge in the slaying of Emily Ferlazzo. The couple had traveled to Vermont last Friday to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.
A not guilty plea was entered for Ferlazzo, who was ordered held without bail. His lawyer, a public defender, declined to comment.
In an affidavit filed in court, police wrote that Ferlazzo confessed to investigators on Tuesday, saying he shot his wife Friday night after an argument in their camper.
Ferlazzo said his wife struck him in the arm and groin during their argument and then decided to lay down.
He then “retrieved a Glock handgun from a cabinet in the camper, ‘jumped on top of her,’ and shot her twice in the head,” police wrote.
Ferlazzo told investigators he had “an anxiety attack” after the slaying, police said.
“He explained that there was blood coming from her head, so he retrieved a garbage bag and placed it over her head,” the affidavit stated.
Ferlazzo, who had been living with his wife in their camper on her family’s property in Northfield, N.H., told investigators he moved her body to the bathroom area, according to the affidavit. On Saturday morning, he had breakfast in Waterbury, Vt., with his sister and sister’s boyfriend, who were vacationing with the couple, police wrote.
After returning from breakfast he moved the camper, with his wife’s body still inside, from the Bolton area to a friend’s property in St. Albans, Vt., Ferlazzo told investigators.
Roughly 12 to 15 hours after shooting his wife, he dismembered her, police said.
After obtaining a search warrant for the camper, authorities found several plastic bags containing apparent human remains, police wrote. They also recovered a handsaw and gun.
The affidavit didn’t indicate what the couple argued about before the killing. But Emily Ferlazzo’s family told investigators that the pair had experienced trouble in the past.
Investigators learned “there was a history of domestic violence within the relationship and Emily has been seen with scratches and bruises,” police wrote. When her mother asked about the bruising, Emily Ferlazzo “said she and Joseph had gotten into a physical altercation,” and her mother “estimated she knew about” three or four prior arguments that had turned physical.
Joseph Ferlazzo returned to his in-laws’ New Hampshire property Monday evening and told them he and Emily had an argument in Bolton on Saturday, prompting her to leave the camper with plans to take an Uber home to Northfield, police wrote. He told his in-laws that Emily was gone when he returned to the camper after going to a store.
Shortly after midnight on Tuesday, a friend of Joseph Ferlazzo called 911 and said Ferlazzo had confessed to him. The friend said he was driving Ferlazzo to his camper when he noticed state troopers watching the vehicle.
When the friend asked about the police presence, Ferlazzo said “Emily was in the van and she was not alive,” police wrote. The friend “asked Joseph if he killed Emily to which Joseph responded ‘Yes,’ ” the affidavit said. The friend kicked Ferlazzo out of his car and called 911.
Vermont State Police found Ferlazzo at a gas station in St. Albans and he agreed to go back to the barracks, where he eventually admitted to killing his wife.
Ferlazzo’s next court date hasn’t been set.
He and his wife got engaged in September 2020, according to Emily Ferlazzo’s Facebook page, which shows a number of photos of the two smiling and embracing.
That October, she posted photos of what appeared to be their wedding day above a caption that read, “Wanted to share some photos from our day with friends and family. Beyond blessed to call this man my husband.”