Vet charged with killing pregnant mistress

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A Pennsylvania veterinarian has been charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child after allegations that he murdered a veterinary technician, supposedly his mistress, and her unborn child.

Dr. David A. Rapoport, 30, of Lansdale, Pa., was arrested March 22, four days after Pennsylvania state police found the body of Jennifer Snyder, 27, of Whitehall, Pa.

Snyder worked for Maple Hills Veterinary Hospital, and Dr. Rapoport worked for Harleysville Veterinary Hospital. According to an employee profile, which has since been removed from the veterinary hospital's website, he graduated from Muhlenberg College in 2002 with a degree in biology and Spanish. He then worked as a research specialist at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine's Department of Neurobiology before attending UPenn School of Veterinary Medicine. He graduated in 2008 and joined Harleysville Veterinary Hospital in 2010. Prior to working at Harleysville, Dr. Rapoport worked at Maple Hills Veterinary Hospital, where authorities say the two had met.

The investigation into the murder began March 17 when police were investigating an unattended vehicle that had a smashed rear passenger-side window. It came back as registered to Snyder.

When police reviewed video surveillance tapes from the previous day, they saw a man step out of the driver's side of the car, walk to a nearby Dumpster, and place some items inside. Credit card records showed that Dr. Rapoport had visited a Target that day and purchased bleach, baby wipes, duct tape, and a towel.

Police interviewed Snyder's roommate, Hilary Schiavone, who told them Snyder had revealed to her that she was pregnant with Dr. Rapoport's child, but that he was married and was angry about the pregnancy. Synder had confided in Schiavone the morning of March 16 as she left to meet with Dr. Rapoport, according to news reports.

After the interview, police returned to Snyder's car and found blood in the passenger seat and detected the smell of bleach in the car. They also found two 9mm casings in the back seat. In the Dumpster, they found an empty bottle of bleach with blood on it, a bleach-soaked towel, and a plastic bag with documents from Snyder's obstetrician-gynecologist.

Police went to Dr. Rapoport's home that evening to speak with him and his wife, Elizabeth. Dr. Rapoport first told police he hadn't had any recent contact with Snyder but later admitted he had had a relationship with Snyder, according to court papers.

Snyder's body was found March 18 with three bullet wounds, one to her back and two to her head, about two miles from her car in a nature preserve. Dr. Rapoport is accused of shooting Snyder in her car, wrapping her body in a fleece blanket, dousing it with bleach, and stuffing her in garbage bags bound with duct tape. He then dumped her body near the nature preserve.

According to an autopsy, she was two months pregnant.

Dr. Rapoport is being held without bail in Lehigh County Prison. He was scheduled for his first court appearance May 12, after press time.