Daughter Speaks Out After Dad, 75, Charged With Mom's Murder - FOX 35 News Orlando

Daughter Speaks Out After Dad, 75, Charged With Mom's Murder

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PHILADELPHIA -

"He tried to out slick us and he did not," said police Captain James Clark after homicide investigators charged 75-year-old Louis Hartdegen with the strangulation murder of his wife, Judy.

Police say Hartdegen tried to get detectives to believe he and his 74-year-old wife were the victims of a home invasion.

"He did a lot of things trying to out smart the homicide detectives, but we have some very, very sharp detectives upstairs, and they saw through everything he tried to do," Clark explained. 

Meanwhile, Antoinette Hartdegen, the couple's daughter, spoke out about the case Tuesday.

"You beat on my mother," she said. "It's terrible. He did this in the past."

Antoinette wasn't buying her father's story, and detectives weren't either. Evidence at the crime scene didn't add up.

The former postal worker blamed his next-door neighbor. Police took the 26-year-old in for questioning but ultimately released him.

"It's very troubling that he did pick out the wrong person to try to cover up his own tracks," Clark said.

"I feel sorry for him," another neighbor told FOX 29, referring to the 26-year-old construction worker falsely accused by Hartdegen.

"Being blamed for something you didn't do, just the thoughts of what was going through his head," neighbor Rich Raymond said.

FOX 29 broke the news of the husband's possible involvement Monday at 6. News of Hartdegen's hospital bedside confession to suffocating and strangling his wife of over 50 years stunned this tight-knit neighborhood.

"I feel terrible. She didn't bother nobody," said a friend of the victim.

Antoinette, the couple's daughter, said, "I told her many, many times to leave him for what he did. Why would you murder your wife and you take my mother away?"

Hartdegen was expected to be released from the hospital sometime Tuesday evening and arraigned on the murder charges. The falsely-accused neighbor was not available for comment.

Police would not comment on a motive for the murder, but sources tell FOX 29 the victim may have spurned her husband's romantic advances.

Sources say Hartdegen's 9-1-1 call to police first raised questions for investigators. Detectives were also puzzled by a suspicious and distinctive bite mark on the victim's body.

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