Oxygen's upcoming episode of Dateline: Unforgettable focuses on the shocking death of a Nevada teenager named Micaela Costanzo. Micaela went missing on March 3, 2011, and two days later, he was found dead in a grave. The episode delves deep into the numerous aspects pertaining to the tragic event. The description of the episode on Oxygen reads:
''A case Keith Morrison can't forget in which a teen's murder shakes a Nevada community and two unlikely people confess.''
Read on to find out what happened to Micaela Costanzo in detail.
Who was Micaela Costanzo?
Micaela Costanzo was a high school student from Nevada. She was 16 years old and very popular among her friends, known for her leadership qualities and athletic skills. According to Costanzo's obituary in Find a Grave, she was noted for her optimistic view of life and sense of humor. Apart from sports, Micaela also handled editorial responsibilities for her school newspaper.
On the evening of March 3, 2011, Micaela Costanzo disappeared after track practice at school. According to security camera footage, she left the school at 5:15 pm. Since her sister couldn't give her a lift that day as she was not in town, Costanzo decided to walk. After a while, her family members started panicking when she did not respond to their messages and calls.
Police soon began their search for the missing teen, along with various members of the community. However, two days later, in a shocking turn of events, Micaela Costanzo was found dead in a grave by a volunteer. Subsequent investigation revealed that Costanzo had been hit with a shovel. Authorities also found a plastic tie around Costanzo's arm.
How did Micaela Costanzo die?
Police soon directed their focus towards Costanzo's childhood friend Kody Patten after they discovered calls and text messages from Costanzo to Patten. Patten told police that he last saw Costanzo with her boyfriend in front of their school. Authorities soon discovered that Patten was dating a girl named Toni Fratto, who was jealous of her boyfriend's friendship with Costanzo.
According to ThoughtCo, Patten confessed to the crime. He said he took Costanzo for a drive after school and the two got into a heated argument after she asked him to break off his engagement with Fratto and start seeing her. Patten refused to break off the engagement and once Costanzo started getting physical, Patten pushed her, following which she experienced convulsions. He then hit her with a shovel and slit her throat before burying her in a grave. Patten was subsequently arrested and charged with first-degree murder.
Things became more complicated when Patten's attorney presented a taped confession from Fratto. As per Fratto's confession, Patten messaged her saying, ''I've got her'' meaning that Costanzo was with him in the car. He later picked Fratto and the three of them set off to the gravel pits. Fratto saw Costanzo and Patten arguing after they stepped out of the car and later found Costanzo lying on the ground, unconscious. She then joined Patten as they hit her with a shovel and slit her throat.
After her arrest, Fratto confessed to the police with more changes to the story. She said Patten explicitly told her that they had to kill Costanzo and asked her to stand guard while he hit Costanzo with a shovel. Although initially reluctant, Fratto hit Costanzo in the shoulder while Patten struck a blow to her head. Patten further made changes to his story during a plea deal meeting where he said that Fratto wanted to confront Costanzo about their relationship and decided to fight it out with her.
Both Fratto and Patten ultimately pled guilty to avoid the death penalty. Patten pled guilty to first-degree murder with no possibility of parole, while Fratto pled guilty to second-degree murder with the possibility of parole after 18 years.
Details about Dateline: Unforgettable Season 2
The first episode of season 2 of Dateline: Unforgettable that recounts Micaela Constanzo's murder is titled Under the Desert Sky. The various correspondents featured in Dateline: Unforgettable season 2 include Keith Morrison, Andrea Canning, Josh Mankiewicz, and Dennis Murphy. You can watch Oxygen's Dateline: Unforgettable season 2 on June 7, 2022 at 8 pm ET.