Police: Woman Kills Neighbor Over Feud

  • This booking photograph released Thursday, Aug. 30, 2018, by the New Hampshire Attorney General's Office shows Catrina Costello, arrested on charges of striking Stephen and Erin VanDalinda and their dog with a car Wednesday night in Seabrook, N.H. Stephen VanDalinda, died and his wife was hospitalized with serious injuries. (New Hampshire Attorney General's Office via AP)

Associated Press
Thursday, August 30, 2018

Seabrook, n.h. — A woman with a long-running feud with her neighbors struck the couple with her car, killing the husband, New Hampshire police said on Thursday.

Sixty-four-year-old Stephen VanDalinda, and his 61-year-old wife, Erin, were hit on Wednesday night in Seabrook, a town of about 9,000 near the Massachusetts border. Erin is hospitalized with serious injuries.

Authorities said Catrina Costello, 38, was driving drunk when she hit the couple and then left the scene.

She faces nine charges, including felony assault. She was due to be arraigned on Thursday afternoon. A phone number for her couldn’t be found.

Neighbors said the VanDalindas had growing fear of Costello over her repeated threats against them. Things had gotten so bad, neighbors said, the VanDalindas put their home up for sale and were planning to move in October.

The two families had lived next store to one another for at least five years.

William Powers, a neighbor who knew the couple, said he feared the hit-and-run was deliberate.

“I was shocked. I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

Seabrook Town Selectman and State Rep. Aboul Khan, who lived across the street from the VanDalindas, said he believes the dispute may have started over an argument about the property line.

He recalled one incident in which Costello confronted Stephen VanDalinda as he was mowing the lawn and then one of her pit bulls attacked him.

Still, he found it hard to comprehend how things had reached this point and one of his good friends was now dead.

“I could not believe it,” he said. “I don’t know if it deliberate or not. It doesn’t make any sense.”

Last year, a district court in Seabrook issued a protective order in which Costello was supposed to stay away from Erin VanDalinda for a year. In the document reviewed by The Associated Press, Erin VanDalinda alleged she had been threatened by Costello four times over a five-month period in 2017 and that Costello had trespassed on their property.

She also alleged that one of Costello’s pit bulls had mauled her dog and bit Stephen VanDalinda on the arm.

Neighbors said the VanDalindas were well-known and would frequently chat with neighbors on their walks with their dog, Lucy, whose condition is unknown.

“They are just wonderful people, great friends,” said Marilyn Johnston, who lives three houses down from the couple and recalled a recent dinner in which the VanDalindas expressed excitement about moving into their new home in a rural New Hampshire town.

“We’re devastated. This is the safest, nicest neighborhood that I have ever lived in. It’s just so sad.”