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Killer's journals shedding new light on West Wendover homicide


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SALT LAKE CITY — This upcoming March marks two years since the body of a 16-year-old girl was found near West Wendover. Two classmates pleaded guilty in Micaela Costanzo's death, but both gave completely different stories about the murder.

The case will get new attention Friday night, when "Dateline NBC" airs a special featuring the journals of one of the killers.

In May 2012, Kody Patten, 19, accepted a plea deal, admitting to the brutal murder of his classmate and childhood friend, Micaela "Mickey" Costanzo. His former girlfriend, 19-year-old Toni Fratto was charged with second-degree murder in the case and later sentenced to life in prison after striking her own plea deal.

But Patten's and Fratto's stories about what happened conflict, never adding up to what happened after Costanzo was kidnapped from school March 3, 2011, taken to a remote desert area near the Utah-Nevada border and killed.

Deseret News:

When investigators unearthed Costanzo's body days later, they discovered her throat had been slit.

"There are conflicting stories about who did that," said John Ohlson, Patten's attorney. "I just don't know. I don't think I'm ever going to know."

Patten claims his former girlfriend was jealous. "Dateline" correspondent Keith Morrison recently got a hold of Fratto's diary entries, which at least show the depth of her interest in both Patten and Costanzo.

"She was very concerned — and she was not only concerned about Mickey, but she was also concerned about Kody and whether or not she was going to be able to have a life with him," Morrison explained

For her part, Fratto said Patten was abusive and she doesn't know why she helped with the murder.

Meanwhile, Michaela's mother said she doesn't think she will ever know why her daughter was murdered. Now her family is just trying to move on.

"We spent so much time trying to piece it all together," Celia Costanzo said. "The only two people who know everything for sure is Toni and Kody, and their stories change so much."

"Dateline's" two-hour presentation on this case, including an interview with Toni Fratto, airs Friday night at 8:00 on KSL Channel 5.

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Devon Dolan

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