NEW YORK (AP) — A Virginia man accused of driving hundreds of miles to upstate New York to kill the superintendent of a small school district believed the man was having an affair with his wife, a person familiar with the investigation told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Anthony Robert Taglianetti II made the more-than-six-hour drive after intercepting a communication between Clymer, N.Y., resident Keith Reed Jr. and Taglianetti's wife, said the person, who requested anonymity because the information was not being publicly released by authorities.
The two had had a romantic relationship some time ago when the Taglianettis were separated, the person said.
But Reed's brother objected to any suggestion that Reed was having an affair.
"As far as we can tell, Keith had no idea that she was married," Kevin Reed said in a telephone interview Saturday from his brother's home.
Kevin Reed, a retired FBI agent, said a profile of the woman on a social networking site listed her as divorced. He said his brother met her on the dating website Match.com, but didn't discuss the relationship with family members.
The wife, Mary Jenks Taglianetti, did not immediately respond to an online message seeking comment.
Investigators discovered a handgun in the car Anthony Robert Taglianetti was driving when he was captured Friday in Virginia following a nationwide search, authorities said. The weapon was to be sent for ballistics testing to discover whether it was used in the killing.
The 42-year-old Woodbridge, Va., resident was charged with second-degree murder hours after his capture and was to appear in court Monday on the issue of extradition, authorities said. It wasn't clear whether he had a lawyer. A man answering the phone at a number listed under Taglianetti's name declined to comment.
On Saturday night, Kevin Reed watched as his brother's three daughters sorted through their father's belongings. He talked of how his brother enjoyed his job and the students, and said the slaying has ruined many lives.
"He loved his job. He loved the kids. He knew every kid's name, K through 12," Kevin Reed said. "The kids' lives that he's not going to touch now — it's just a terrible, terrible loss."
He said his brother's assailant was evil.
"He didn't just ruin my family's life," Reed said. "He has affected thousands of lives with three shots. He's a coward, and I'll be there in court every day."
Authorities found Reed's body Monday about 150 feet from his Clymer home, where he lived alone. Kevin Reed said his brother had been divorced for several years.
Keith Reed Jr. had been superintendent of the one-building Clymer Central School District and its 468 students since November. The small town, 70 miles south of Buffalo near Pennsylvania, has a population of about 1,500.
The Chautauqua County sheriff's office said Thursday that it was searching for Taglianetti in connection with the shooting. The next day, deputies with a U.S. Marshals Service fugitive task force found him on a rural road in the Shenandoah County area of Virginia. They had issued a description of his vehicle earlier, saying they believed it was loaded with camping and survival equipment.
Reed's funeral was held Friday at the United Congregational Methodist Church in Salamanca. He is survived by his three daughters — two in college and one a recent graduate — as well as his parents, who are in their 80s. The burial was on his father's birthday, Kevin Reed said.