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Man found guilty of murdering girlfriend, disposing her body in river

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    TUNKHANNOCK, PA (WNEP) — Phillip Walters had nothing to say as he walked out of the Wyoming County Courthouse minutes after the jury unanimously found him guilty of killing his girlfriend 24-year-old Haley Lorenzen.

It took the jury four hours to find Walters guilty on all counts of murder, strangulation, and abuse of a corpse.

Her family came from Oregon to watch the trial.

“It’s not going to bring our daughter back, but it’s justice,” Haley’s father Ralph Lorenzen said.

“I am just to this point right now where I’m so elated that he’s off the street and he can’t hurt another woman and he’s going to go away to where deserves to be,” Haley’s mother Deanna Hills said.

Prosecutors said Walters killed Lorenzen in December of 2018 and threw her body into the Susquehanna River from a bridge in Falls Township in Wyoming County.

Prosecutors said Walters was charged after a witness came forward to police claiming to have helped Walters get rid of the body.

Crews searched for Lorenzen 16 times but she didn’t show up until a kayaker in Luzerne County found her body in Plymouth in July of last year.

“There’s so much evidence. We had DNA, we had an eyewitness who did an amazing job, we had video of the U-turn of the vehicle at the end of the Falls Bridge. There was so much evidence that came together that helped prove this case,” Wyoming County District Attorney Jeff Mitchell said.

Friends of the Lorenzen family even waited outside of the courthouse in their cars to find out the verdict.

“I’m happy the Lorenzen family got what they wanted. I’m happy for them. I hope he goes to prison for life because that’s what he deserves,” Todd Kinney of Dallas said.

“In a way, there will never be true closure. There never is true closure, but we all pull together to Haley,” Hills said.

Walters is scheduled to be sentenced at the Wyoming County Courthouse on December 10.

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