Saturday, February 9, 2013
The man's death was ruled a homicide.
An Avella resident was hitchhiking on Old Route 40 in Donegal Township, Washington County, about 9:20 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 18, 1972 when he spotted the badly decomposed body of a man. The man was down an embankment, about 65 feet south of the roadway. His skeletal remains were found in a briar thicket, near a small trash dump, about two miles west of Claysville. It was estimated that he had been there for about 8 to 10 weeks. The man's death was ruled a homicide, according to the Pennsylvania Missing Persons website. The man had gunshot wounds in his left torso, possibly from a .22-caliber weapon. While details about the man's appearance and clothing are many, there are no clues as to who he was, where he came from or why he died. The man …
Friday, January 25, 2013
The former daycare owner, who was charged in 2012 with possessing child porn following an investigation in Moon Township, is arrested in Washington County.
Pamela Smallis, a former Moon Township woman who faces trial on drug and child pornography charges, has turned herself in to police in connection to a $10,000 theft from a Washington County Walmart. South Strabane Township Police have charged Smallis, 49, with retail theft and conspiracy, according to court records. She was released from Washington County Jail Wednesday on $10,000 bail. Smallis is accused of stealing nine iPads and 23 iPods in the early morning hours of Jan. 7 from the Walmart location in South Strabane, according to the Observer-Reporter. The items were valued at nearly $10,000. Jeremy Stover, 24, and Olivia Domenick, 21, both of Coraopolis, are also charged in the theft. The trio is seen on surveillance video in the…
Saturday, January 5, 2013
Ritter was the fourth young woman killed in seven months in Washington County in 1976-77.
The rape and strangulation death of Brenda Lee Ritter, 18, of North Strabane Township on May 19, 1977 is a case that still haunts police. Her death occurred as the fourth in a series of slayings of young women in Washington County. The murders of Deborah Capiola, Mary Irene Gency and Susan Rush left county residents on edge. The death of Barbara Lewis in Penn Hills within the same time frame left investigators wondering if her strangulation death was at the hands of the same killer. According to a Sept. 28, 2003 story in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Brenda left her boyfriend's home in Chartiers Township about 10:10 p.m. May 18, 1977 during a raging thunderstorm. Her boyfriend, Larry Bonazza, and his mother made sure the doors of Brenda's …
Monday, May 7, 2012
Each weekend, beginning May 12-13, Patch will review a missing person, an unidentified body or a cold case homicide victim from Allegheny or Washington counties.
The Pennsylvania Missing Persons website features the somewhat-haunting sketch of "Beth Doe" on its homepage. Nancy Monahan of Penn Hills, who started and runs the website, chose the sketch because, in nearly four decades, and despite social networking and modern forensics, no one has ever been able to determine where the woman came from or who she was. Monahan was intrigued in part because the woman would have been in her own age bracket. The details of the case are rather disturbing. The young woman had been dismembered and mutilated. She and her full-term, unborn child were stuffed in three suitcases and thrown from a bridge along Interstate 80 over the Lehigh River in Carbon County, PA. Police think the killer meant for the suitcases …
Tuesday, July 19, 2011
The girl was last seen in the city's East End.
Detectives from the Pittsburgh Police Missing Persons unit are seeking information about a teen whose family last saw her Friday in the city's East End. Shahada Bray-Garner, 16, may be in Washington, PA, detectives said. She is black, is 5-foot-6, weighs 190 pounds, and has black hair and brown eyes. Police do not have a photograph of Shahada. Anyone with information about her whereabouts is asked to contact police at 412-323-7141.
Thursday, July 7, 2011
Officials are upset that only Washington County's reassessment was stopped.
Legislation that is allowing Washington County to put the brakes on its real estate reassessment has Allegheny County officials in an uproar and investigating legal options. Council President Jim Burn said the county is pushing back on the legislation signed into law last week that allows a reassessment moratorium only for Washington County. The state House originally passed a bill that would grant a moratorium for all counties, but it was changed in the Senate to only include Washington County. State officials said Allegheny County was excluded because the reassessment process was too far along to be stopped. That decision, however, is angering county officials here. Burn pointed to the fact that Allegheny last reassessed in 2002 while …