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Pam Hupp deal leads to reopening of Betsy Faria murder investigation

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Pam Hupp.

LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. - Lincoln County prosecutor Mike Wood just took over in January. He’s been watching the Pam Hupp story closely and after Hupp’s plea deal Wednesday, he said now it’s time to find justice for Betsy Faria.

“We believe justice for Betsy needs to be served. If it can be served, that’s our goal," Wood said. "I think the citizens deserve that. I think the citizens deserve to have faith in the investigation.”

Betsy Faria was murdered December 27, 2011. Her husband found her stabbed approximately 55 times in her Troy, Missouri home.

She was already dying of cancer, with possibly just months to live. Pam Hupp had just dropped her off at her home.

Investigators at the time even tracked Hupp’s cellphone near Faria’s house during the approximate time of the murder but Lincoln County investigators at the time focused on Betsy’s husband, Russ Faria. Investigators had traced Russ’ cellphone to Lake St. Louis during the time of the murder and four alibi witnesses confirmed they were all at a regularly scheduled game night.

Pam Hupp then benefitted from Betsy’s $150,000 life insurance proceeds signed over to Hupp just days before the murder.

FOX 2 was the only station to cover the 2013 trial in which a jury convicted Russ Faria. Our coverage led to a new trial in 2015. A judge found Russ Faria not guilty while raising questions about Hupp’s possible involvement.

We continued our reporting, including investigating the bizarre death of Hupp’s mother—her unexplained fall through the railings of a third-floor balcony—and her life insurance proceeds.

St. Charles County prosecutors said Hupp wanted to escape the heat, so she plotted the murder of a random person in order to frame Russ Faria.

Hupp will spend the rest of her life in prison after admitting that prosecutors had evidence to convict her of killing a Gumpenberger. She could have faced the death penalty if convicted of the first-degree murder of 33-year-old.

Pam Hupp submitted an Alford plea Wednesday. She admitted that the state of Missouri has enough evidence to convict her of the 2016 murder of Louis Gumpenberger. She shot him to death in her home.

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Russ Faria said his attorneys, Joel Schwartz and Nate Swanson, have already set up an appointment with the prosecutor to go over the evidence. After Wednesday's plea hearing, he pulled no punches about his opinion.

“It all started with her framing me for the murder of my wife, who she murdered,” Russ said.

Nearly eight years have passed but Wood said it’s not too late to find the truth.

"It’s never too late. What I want to show is we can look at what we’ve got. I can’t make any guarantees on where it will go but we will at least work with what we have and do the best we can,” he said.

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