ELKTON, Md. - A cross displayed in the front window of Lyra Magliacane's house flies in the face of allegations by her boyfriend that she was possessed by the devil.
It's the only justification offered by 39-year old Jason Waddell for taking her life in a case, which has struck fear in the hearts of their neighbors.
"I've lived here all my life. Yes. This is the first person I've ever known to be killed in this area," said a man who did not wish to give us his name.
"And it doesn't help when you hear the satanic stuff?"
"No. It does not."
A mother of five, it was Lyra's ex-husband who first knew something was wrong when he stopped by to drop their children off, and she was nowhere to be found.
Her car also was missing.
Once troopers tracked down the car, they found Waddell who confessed that he had killed her, because she was possessed.
"She was found in a second floor bedroom,” said Ron Snyder of the Maryland State Police, “They believe that she died from asphyxiation due to strangulation and this was a case of a boyfriend suspected of killing his girlfriend."
In a strange twist, the alleged killer also had left a message behind in the room declaring victory over the perceived evil he wrung from Lyra's body with his own hands.
"They did find a note that said 'Satan is dead' in the bedroom, and this is a case where friends and family members had been fearing for the victim's safety for a good bit,” said Snyder, “She had expressed through text messages that she had some concern for her safety."
Waddell is being held on first and second degree murder charges apparently a victim of the very evil that he was trying to conquer when he took his girlfriend's life.