locally owned since 1854

Harrisburg resident charged in December heroin death of Lower Swatara Township woman

Press & Journal Staff

editor@pressandjournal.com

717-944-4628
Posted 4/20/18

A Lower Swatara Township woman died from a heroin overdose in December 2017, and a Harrisburg woman has been arrested on charges she sold her the drugs that led to her death.

Maiya Michele Elby, …

This item is available in full to subscribers.

Please log in to continue

Log in

Harrisburg resident charged in December heroin death of Lower Swatara Township woman

Posted

A Lower Swatara Township woman died from a heroin overdose in December 2017, and a Harrisburg woman has been arrested on charges she sold her the drugs that led to her death.

Maiya Michele Elby, of the 200 block of Mary Street Washington Square, was arrested and charged Friday with one count of drug delivery resulting in death, a first-degree felony; one count of possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance, an ungraded felony; and criminal use of a communication facility, a third-degree felony.

Lower Swatara police found 23-year-old Rebecca Cvek dead at her residence at 1102 Georgetown Road at about 12:40 p.m. Dec. 5, according to the criminal complaint filed with Magisterial District Judge Michael Smith. She lived there with her brother, Andrew Cvek, who was the person who called police.

Andrew Cvek said that she previously had issues with heroin, but there were no immediate signs of drug use at the scene, according to the criminal complaint.

In the right front pocket of Cvek’s jeans, police found a set of blue bags with a black band around them. These bags are commonly used to package heroin, according to the criminal complaint. There were nine bags, all with a visible white powder inside. There are usually 10 bags in a bundle of heroin, according to police.

Pennsylvania State Police later tested the contents of the bags and found it to be the narcotic tramadol, heroin, acetyl fentanyl, and fentanyl.

A toxicology report showed Cvek had fentanyl in her system and the cause of death was from acute fentanyl toxicity, according to the complaint. Lower Swatara police previously told the Press & Journal that fetanyl is 100 times more powerful than morphine.

Elby was arraigned before Smith on Friday, April 20. Bail was set at $100,000 unsecured. Elby was not listed as being in Dauphin County Prison.

Her preliminary hearing before Smith is May 2.

Tracking a phone number

While at the Georgetown Road residence Dec. 5, police confiscated Cvek’s iPhone 6s and her laptop. At about 11 a.m. Dec. 6, police noticed a preview message on the home screen of Cvek’s phone from a 717 phone number. Police called the number and a woman answered who, according to the criminal complaint, “sounded nervous.”

The woman told police that someone else had her phone the previous day and was using her iCloud account to send messages. Police asked for details and the woman hung up. When police called back and told the woman that Cvek had died from a heroin overdose, the woman again hung up the phone; call-back attempts went straight to voicemail, according to the complaint.

Police reviewed Cvek’s phone records and on Dec. 19 contacted a woman who told police she provided Cvek with the phone number in question because Cvek “was looking for heroin.”

Police had Cvek’s phone forensically reviewed and found messages starting at 11:44 Dec. 4 and ending at 9:02 a.m. Dec. 5 between her and the number police previously called. According to the criminal complaint, Cvek asked the woman for “bags” and also asked the dealer how much a bundle cost. The dealer told Rebecca $50.

They arranged to meet in the parking lot of an area business, according to the complaint. On Jan. 5, police obtained a search warrant for records related to the phone number, which they found belonged to Elby, according to police. The account was closed Dec. 6, the same date police called the number and spoke with her on the phone.

A security specialist for the business where the drug deal allegedly took place told police he had video evidence of the transaction. The video shows Cvek pulling into the lot at about 8:28 a.m. Dec. 5 with Elby being dropped off and wandering around the lot on a phone soon after, according to the criminal complaint. At 8:29 a.m., Elby can be seen talking on her phone, which police said refutes her initial statement that she didn't have her phone on that date. At 8:30, Elby approaches Cvek’s car, according to the video cited in the criminal complaint. At 8:31, she exits Cvek’s car.

The two traded several other messages soon after, including one at 8:58 a.m. in which Cvek said she “just did a half bag, and they’re good.” The last message was from Cvek to Elby at 9:01.

According to Cvek’s obituary, she was born in Lancaster and formerly lived in  Elizabethtown. She was the daughter of Scott R. and Christine S. Pfleger Cvek of Elizabethtown. She was a 2012 graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School and attended Mount St. Mary’s and Penn State University.

Other drug delivery cases

At least three other drug delivery resulting in death cases involving heroin overdoses are also pending in Lower Swatara Township.

Township police in August 2017 charged Christopher James Theurer, 42, of the 2000 block of Market Street Extended with drug delivery resulting in death following the overdose of a woman on heroin on Feb. 5, 2017.

Theurer’s case is in Dauphin County Court where his next appearance before a judge is scheduled for June 19.

On Oct. 18, 2017, township police charged James Frederick Newman, 64, of the 100 block of C Lane with three counts of drug delivery resulting in death.

Two of the deaths occurred in Lower Swatara Township, in April 2017 and in May 2017, and one death occurred in Harrisburg in November 2016, according to arrest records.

Newman’s next appearance in county court on the charges is scheduled for May 15.

In May 2017 township police charged 47-year-old Matthew Dean Header — known as “Giant” because he is 6 feet 9 inches tall — with drug delivery resulting in death following a 10-month investigation into the July 2016 death of a township man in the first block of Nissley Drive.

Header was captured in Cleburne County, Alabama, on Tuesday, Aug. 29. He is still awaiting a preliminary hearing on the charge as of this writing.