Lloyd Neurauter was caught instructing his daughter Karrie Neurauter on how she could avoid police questions into the death of Lloyd's wife, Michele
When authorities tapped the phone of an upstate New York woman suspected of helping her father kill her mother, they didn’t realize how easy it would be to catch the pair plotting.
“Tell them ‘I’m sorry, I’ve got a counseling appointment back in New Jersey tonight, I’ve gotta get to my counseling appointment,’ ” suspect Lloyd Neurauter instructed his daughter Karrie Neurauter, then 19, about the next time she spoke to police investigating the killing of his wife, Michele Neurauter.
“And tell them this has been really hard on you,” he continued before adding with a laugh, “Could you cry?”
“I might,” Karrie responded.
The conversation is set to air Friday on NBC’s Dateline. An exclusive clip is above.
“You can cry and say ‘I’m sorry I have to go,’ ” Lloyd told his daughter in one taped phone conversation. “God, it would be nice if it was then just over.”
“That would be the dream,” Karrie replied.
“Well, that’s really all I got to suggest right now,” Lloyd said.
By the time Lloyd and his daughter were caught discussing how to handle police questions, they were already caught up in the investigation of Michele’s August 2017 strangulation in her home in Corning, New York. They were eventually arrested months later in January, according to the Elmira Star-Gazette.
In March, Karrie, who lived in Syracuse, entered a plea and admitted to helping her father murder her mother in part because he wanted to get out of paying child support.
Karrie pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree murder and agreed to testifying against her father, whom she accused of being the mastermind behind Michele’s killing.
In October, two weeks before his trial, Lloyd pleaded guilty to first-degree murder, custodial interference and second-degree conspiracy, the Star-Gazette reported.
New York authorities told the paper the evidence they had gathered, including DNA on the victim’s body, was “nothing short of overwhelming.”
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Karrie told authorities that Lloyd approached her in the summer of 2017 “with an ultimatum,” according to a Steuben County District Attorney’s Office news release obtained by PEOPLE: “She could either assist him with killing her mother, to free him from the financial burden of child support and alimony and give him custody of his youngest child — or he would kill himself.”
Lloyd and Michele had three children together and their youngest daughter still lived with Michele. Karrie claimed her father wanted to have custody of the girl and not pay child support.
During his hearing in October, Lloyd admitted to coercing Karrie and that he turned to murder after waging a five-year court battle against Michele for custody of their 14-year-old daughter, the Star-Gazette reported. He also admitted to not wanting to pay Michele as part of their divorce agreement.
Based on Lloyd’s admissions in court, Karrie was allowed to plead to a lesser crime of manslaughter, according to Dateline, and faces a lesser penalty of five to 20 years in prison.
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On the day of Michele’s death, Karrie said she drove her father to and from his home with Michele and unplugged electronic devices inside in order to hide any trace of their presence.
While her father strangled her mother upstairs, Karrie distracted her younger sister downstairs. She admitted to helping her dad stage Michele’s death to look like a suicide.
In October, Lloyd also admitted asking his sister to help him convince Karrie to change her testimony against him, the Star-Gazette reported.
Lloyd faces a minimum of 25 years to life. Both he and his daughter await sentencing.
Dateline airs Friday (10 p.m. ET) on NBC.