Police are investigating the deaths of a man and woman fatally shot Monday at a Penn Township home as homicides, and authorities are still seeking suspects after a Toyota Tacoma truck taken from the scene was discovered abandoned hours later in Manor.
The victims, identified by Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck as Jacob R. Erdeljac, 41, and Mara Casale, 27, were found near the home by a friend visiting at 8 a.m.
“It’s apparent from the evidence that’s been gathered all day that they sustained gunshot wounds that apparently killed them,” Peck told the Tribune-Review.
A 2005 red Toyota Tacoma extended cab pickup with a “thin blue line” sticker on a back window taken from the scene near Bratkovich Road and later found in Manor belonged to one of the victims, police said.
The truck was found near Brush Creek Road and Penn Street in Manor, roughly five miles from the homicide scene. Police searched the area near where the truck was discovered into Monday evening. A motorcycle was towed from the homicide scene around 8:30 p.m. Monday.
“There was quite a bit of evidence to gather and to analyze. … There’s some leads that detectives are following up still this evening, but we don’t have anybody that we’re going to identify as perpetrating this crime at this time,” Peck told the newspaper.
Authorities were investigating whether the deaths were connected to a car explosion Saturday night on Clay Pike in North Huntingdon Township, he said. State police were expected to hold a news conference today, Tuesday, May 18.