The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

August 1, 2013

No murder weapon, suspect yet

HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP — Frank Crash was stabbed to death with scissors or a knife sometime after 10:30 p.m. July 24 and robbed of a diamond ring and cash, authorities said Wednesday.

A news release was issued Wednesday by Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems after a team of investigators reviewed evidence.

“The police have not located the murder weapon,” Kochems said. “There are no suspects or persons of interest at this time.”

The wounds that killed Crash were one to his heart and two to his lungs, according to Kochems.

Mercer County Coroner J. Bradley McGonigle III officially ruled the death a homicide from “more than 70” stab wounds after an autopsy performed Friday.

Because of the length of time toxicology testing takes, final autopsy results are not expected for at least another two weeks, Kochems said.

Mercer County Crime Stoppers will be funding a reward for information leading to a conviction in the case, as well as a reward for a large gold ring with a 3.5-carat diamond solitaire about the size of Roosevelt’s head on a dime, according to Kochems.

Kochems said the investigation is far from over and will likely not end in the near future.

Police are sending multiple blood samples and potential pieces of evidence to the Pennsylvania State Police crime lab in Erie for DNA testing, chemical analysis and fingerprints.

Kochems said the priority testing is expected to take more than three months.

During this time, investigators will work to complete timelines, find a murder weapon and the stolen property, and interview family, friends, acquaintances and anyone the interviews point to, Kochems said.

Police said Crash left the Hickory Grille in Hermitage at 10:30 p.m. July 24 after eating dinner alone.

He was discovered dead at 9:30 a.m. the next morning in his home at 362 Mercer Road, Hempfield Township, by his daughter, Pam Higbee, after she was unable to reach him by phone at work or home, police said.

Court documents say Crash was found lying in a pool of blood on his dining room floor with a cell phone broken into two pieces beside him and the home phone ripped off the wall.

Police said it appeared that someone broke in through the back door of the home, and court documents indicate that a struggle took place in the bedroom.

Police also found blood throughout Crash’s home – the hallway, living room, dining room and bedroom, according to court records.

Blood was also found in the home of Susan Brenneman, Crash’s daughter, at 21 S. Mercer Ave. in Greenville, according to court records.

An affidavit filed at District Judge Ronald E. Antos’ office July 25 said police wanted to speak with Brenneman because an off-duty officer said he saw her walking toward her father’s home between 1:30 and 2 p.m. July 24 wearing a light blue shirt and blue jeans.

Police said they went on July 25 to the apartment Brenneman shares with John Rice and, after he invited them in, saw what they suspected was dried blood and ultimately found a light-blue shirt with blood on it, according to court documents.

Anyone with information about the stolen items, the weapon, or Crash’s whereabouts between the time he left the restaurant at 10:30 p.m. July 24 to the time his daughter found his body  the next morning should contact the Hempfield Township police at 724-588-7369.

Text Only
Local News
  • To demolish or not Tear it down? Fix it up?

    In 2007, Richard D. Givens bought a home at 831 Knobwood Drive in Hermitage for $245,000.
    Today, the city of Hermitage is seeking the demolition of the now-vacant house, arguing the damage from water infiltration makes the structure not worth saving.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 19, 2014

    April 19, 2014

  • Man admits having child porn

    A Mercer man accused of soliciting and downloading photographs of nude teenage girls pleaded guilty April 8 to sexual abuse of children for possessing child pornography.

    April 19, 2014

  • Police getting new tool to fight crime

    Sharon police working at crime scenes will be putting a powerful new investigative tool to work as soon as next month.

    April 19, 2014

  • Soap box derby finds new home

    The Greater Pennsylvania Super Kids soap box derby for special-needs kids is moving to Sharpsville.

    April 19, 2014

  • News briefs from April 18, 2014

    ‘Nonspecific threat’ prompts evacuation

    Supreme Court refuses to hear couple’s appeal

    Lung Association offering free radon test kits

    April 18, 2014

  • Man admits to choking; rape case is dropped

    A Greenville man on Thursday pleaded down a rape case to simple assault and continued to deny that he committed any sexual crimes.

    April 18, 2014

  • Judge issues tabletop ads injunction against couple

    A judge recently handed down an injunction prohibiting a Sharon man, his wife and two companies associated with the wife from working in the tabletop advertising business within 100 miles of Sharon.

    April 18, 2014

  • Tech waste eyed for new contact

    The current Hermitage solid waste contract was designed to increase recycling while reducing the amount of garbage placed at the curb, and it has lived up to its promise.

    April 18, 2014

  • WaterFire Rekindled

    WaterFire Sharon has chosen themes for its festivals to be held on three Saturdays in downtown Sharon. “Elements” will be the theme July 19, “Origins” for Aug. 23 and “Motion” for the Sept. 27 celebration.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014