Veterinarian arrested, faces charges of killing pregnant mistress

Veterinarian arrested, faces charges of killing pregnant mistress

Preliminary hearing to face murder charges of veterinary technician postponed until April 12
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Mar 31, 2011
Landsdale, Pa. -- Veterinarian David Rapoport sits in a Pennsylvania prison without bail while he awaits a court date to face charges he murdered his mistress, a veterinary technician, and her unborn child.

The 30-year-old veterinarian from Landsdale was arrested at his father’s home March 22 by Pennsylvania State Police and charged with criminal homicide and criminal homicide of an unborn child.

Rapoport and Jennifer Snyder, 27, met while working together at Maple Hills Veterinary Hospital just outside Philadelphia, but Rapoport took a new job at the nearby Harleysville Veterinary Hospital last year. Rapoport’s profile on the clinic’s website, which has since been removed, stated that he earned his VMD from the University of Pennsylvania in 2008 and had worked for a time as a research specialist for Penn’s Neurobiology Department before attending veterinary school. He and his wife live in Landsdale; Snyder lived with a roommate in Whitehall.

Veterinarians from Harleysville Veterinary Hospital couldn’t be reached for comment about the case.

On March 17, police responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the parking lot of a North Whitehall Township orthodontics office. Around the same time, Snyder had been reported missing after failing to show up to a doctor’s appointment. Troopers found Snyder’s car parked in the back corner of the lot with a broken side window. Blood and two bullet casings were found inside, according to a police report. An aerial search the next day revealed the location of Snyder’s body in a nature preserve not far from her car.

Police believe Snyder was killed at that location. She was pronounced dead on the scene from multiple gunshot wounds to the head and torso. Police say Snyder was shot three times, and an autopsy confirmed she was about 12 weeks pregnant with a baby boy.

Snyder’s co-workers at Maple Hills Veterinary Hospital tell DVM Newsmagazine they can’t comment on the tragedy, but her obituary indicates she had been a veterinary technician there for four years and was very passionate about caring for and rescuing animals. More than 60 entries in an online guestbook in her memory from friends, family, clients and strangers paint a picture of a “sweet girl” who was loved by many and well-known for her compassion toward animals.

“If there is a place for souls beyond this world, she has the company of the many animals she showed compassion to,” wrote Mark Dicket of Northhampton, Pa. “Many of us, strangers, are touched by her senseless loss, but feel such pride for her beautiful spirit and compassion. To save the life of an animal is noble, and to revere the life of an unwanted soul is magical.”

Snyder had lived for the past few months with another veterinary technician from Maple Hills in a small apartment attached to the veterinary clinic. The two young women were joined by Arthur, a Shepherd mix that had been displaced by Hurricane Katrina and adopted by Snyder.

She had been reported missing after failing to show up for a doctor’s appointment, and police say they interviewed Rapoport before Snyder’s body was found after learning that the two had been dating.

After her body was found, police say they retrieved evidence from a trash receptacle and reviewed a video surveillance tape from the parking lot where Snyder’s car was found. Police charge that evidence also was removed from Rapoport’s car, and a ballistics test concluded that the bullet casings found in Snyder’s car were discharged from a gun owned by Rapoport, according to a police report.

Rapoport is being held without bail in Lehigh County Prison. A preliminary hearing had been scheduled for March 29 but was moved to April 12 at press time.

Services for Snyder were March 23 and 24 at the T.K. Thomas Funeral Home in Palmerton, Pa. A memorial fund has been set up in her name in her hometown at Jim Thorpe National Bank, 145 South 4th Street, Lehighton, PA 18235.