Drunken NH woman accused of intentionally running over her neighbors facing murder charge

SEABROOK, N.H. (WHDH) - A Seabrook, New Hampshire, woman accused of striking and killing a man with her truck while drunk, as he walked his dog with his wife, had repeatedly threatened and harassed the couple, neighbors said.

Police officers responding to a reported motor vehicle accident involving pedestrians on Pine Street determined that Catrina Costello, 38, had intentionally struck Erin and Stephen VanDalinda with her car, leaving 64-year-old Stephen VanDalinda dead and 61-year-old Erin VanDalinda hospitalized with several serious injuries, authorities said.

The couple’s dog was also killed in the crash.

Prosecutors said Costello intentionally aimed her motor vehicle at the couple, accelerated in a reckless manner and struck them.

Costello was later arrested on a charge of second-degree murder, in addition to two counts of felony second-degree assault, two felony counts of aggravated driving while intoxicated with serious bodily injury, two felony counts of conduct after an accident with serious bodily injury, and three counts of violating a stalking order.

“I didn’t think it would escalate to this,” neighborhood resident Brian Henderson. “She was always really mad at them all the time.”

Henderson said the VanDalindas had an active restraining order against Costello due to an ongoing dispute about her two pit bulls.

Erin VanDalinda said in court paperwork that Costello trespassed on her property in 2016 with her pit bulls. The VanDalinda’s dog was mauled and Stephen was bitten. Costello then allegedly directed a series of vile, profanity-laced tirades at the couple after the restraining order was filed.

“They’re the nicest people in the world,” he said of the couple. “They would just be walking down the street and females would drive by, swear at them, yell things out the window, give them the middle finger, and be real aggressive like that. They couldn’t even come out of their house sometimes.”

Neighbor Dan Kaussner said the couple lived in the area for 20 years but were planning to move due to the harassment.

“We were planning a going away party for them,” he said. “They were moving because they wanted to get away from the bad blood with the neighbor.”

An autopsy performed Thursday on Stephen VanDalinda determined his cause of death was blunt impact injuries to the head, trunk, and extremities, according to Attorney General Gordon J. MacDonald. The manner of his death was homicide.

Exeter Hospital, where Stephen VanDalinda worked, released a statement Thursday afternoon.

“Exeter Hospital’s administration, clinical providers and staff are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Stephen Van Dalinda, a long time nurse in Exeter Hospital’s Outpatient Surgery Center,” the statement read. “Stephen was a lovely man and a great nurse who made magic every day. He will be deeply missed by all who knew him. We extend our deepest sympathy to the Van Dalinda family.”

Costello declined her arraignment Thursday in Rockingham County Superior Court. She is being held without bail.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call New Hampshire State Police Sgt. Marc Beaudoin at 603-223-8678.