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                  Erica Stefanko  Biography

The daughter of a murdered army veteran working as Domino’s delivery driver has recalled the night her stepmother allegedly lured her mom to her death by placing a fake pizza order to an empty parking lot.

Erica Stefanko, 37, is on trial for the murder of Ashley Biggs, 25, who was strangled to death in New Franklin, Ohio in June 2012 amid a bitter custody battle with her ex-boyfriend, Chad Cobbs.

Cobbs, who was married to Stefanko at the time, pleaded guilty to the murder in February 2013 and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, as part of a deal to avoid the death penalty.

Erica Stefanko (pictured in court on Monday) 37, is on trial for the murder of Ashley Biggs, 25, who was strangled to death in New Franklin, Ohio in June 2012 +7
Erica Stefanko (pictured in court on Monday) 37, is on trial for the murder of Ashley Biggs, 25, who was strangled to death in New Franklin, Ohio in June 2012

Ashley Biggs (pictured with her daughter) was found strangled to death in a Ohio cornfield in 2012 v +7
Stefanko’s ex-husband – and Biggs’ ex-boyfriend – Chad Cobb is currently serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole after pleading guilty to murder in 2013 +7
Stefanko is accused of helping her ex-husband and Biggs’s ex-boyfriend Chad Cobbs (right) murder the army vet (left) who was working as a Domino’s delivery driver, by placing a fake order to a closed business where she was later ambushed

Stefanko, from Rittman, was arrested last fall after investigators received new information suggesting she had played a role in Biggs’s killing and is facing multiple charges including aggravated murder.

Biggs’s 15-year-old daughter, who was seven at the time, testified at the trial on Wednesday recalling the moment she allegedly heard Stefanko lure her mom to her death.

The girl, who asked not to be photographed in court and was only identified as ‘G.C.’ said she had been sitting in the backseat of a car when she heard Stefanko place the phony pizza order.

She said Stefanko, who was in the passenger seat, ‘did not use her name’ during the call, but she could not remember the alias she used.

She neither could recall where the car was at the time but said it was ‘pitch black’ outside, the Beacon Journal reported.

The girl added that she then fell asleep in the car and awoke the following morning at her grandparents’ house.

 identified only as G.C. – was only seven and had been in the care of her father at the time of her mom’s death. The couple had been in the middle of a bitter custody dispute before Biggs was killed

G.C. She was considered a key witness for the prosecution because her testimony would corroborate the claims of her father, who this week agreed to testify against his ex-wife from jail through video.

However, the defense had opposed G.C. taking the witness stand, arguing that he was too young at the time of the murder.

However, the court ruled that children over the age of 10 are presumed competent to testify even if they were not of legal age at the time of the incident.

G.C., who had spent most of her childhood under the care of her father and Stefanko, told the court that she agreed to testify because she wanted to ‘get the truth out’.

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She acknowledged that she had both pleasant and bad memories of her stepmother, but revealed that Stefanko “did not treat me well” “and no one really knew about it,” according to the newspaper.

He said he believed his stepmother had been jealous of his relationship with his father and claimed that he had abused her physically and mentally.

She also said she had no recollection of her murdered mother, who had left her in her father’s custody as a baby and then started a new relationship with a woman.

At the time of Biggs’s death, the couple had been in a custody dispute and Cobbs feared he was going to lose his daughter, the newspaper reported.

Earlier in the trial, Cobbs had also told the court how Stefanko had used a false name to order a “large, half pepperoni, half mushroom pizza” from a closed business in New Franklin.

Stefanko, from Rittman, was arrested last fall after investigators received new information suggesting she had played a role in Biggs’s murder and is facing multiple charges including aggravated murder

When Briggs showed up to deliver the warrant, he ambushed her in the parking lot, strangled her and put her body in the back of her car before dumping it in a cornfield, she said.

When police later arrived on the scene in New Franklin, they found a large amount of blood on the ground outside the closed business.

Hours later, police found Biggs’s lifeless body in his car in a cornfield in Chippewa Township.

Police immediately linked Cobb to the murder because a four-foot bridle was used in Biggs’s strangulation, and he owned a cable-laying company.

Cobb and Biggs never married. In 2007, Cobb was given full custody of the couple’s daughter and for the four years immediately following the order, the girl appeared to live happily with her, their three other children, and her wife, Erica.

Beginning in October 2011, Biggs and Cobb traded insults through court orders: She complained that he changed his phone number and effectively violated a court order.

He complained that she was trying to take him away from his daughter.

She also complained that Biggs had incorrectly told local authorities that she had taken her daughter out of the state, which would be a violation of her custody agreement.

Following Cobb’s incarceration, his wife and alleged accomplice, Erica, divorced him and in 2015 remarried, taking the surname of her new husband, Stefanko.

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IbrarHussain

Ibrar Hussain is the USA Today Bestselling author of 6 novels, including The Dig, A Warm Place to Call Home (a demon’s story), and Exigency. He lives in Northern California with “the wife,” “the kids,” “the dog,” “that cat,” and he occasionally wears pants. His latest release, RETURN, is the third book in his #1 bestselling Matt Turner series.

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