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McKees Rocks man found dead in home

| Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, 6:20 p.m.
Community activist Isaiah Dent at a Martin Luther King Jr. event earlier this month, was found dead in his home.

A McKees Rocks clothing designer who friends say worked to make a difference in the community and help troubled youths was found dead inside his home on Monday, the victim of what police believe was the same violence he tried to prevent.

Preliminary indications are that Isaiah Dent, 61, had been beaten to death inside his apartment in the Hays Manor housing project, Allegheny County police Lt. Andrew Schurman said. More will be known after an autopsy that is scheduled for Tuesday, a spokesman for the Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office said.

James Hogan, pastor of Faithbridge Community Church in McKees Rocks, said Dent appeared last week at a Martin Luther King Jr. event for the Breaking the Silence, Ending Youth Violence group at the Hays Manor Community Center.

“Isaiah wasn't a member of our church, just a friend that labored alongside us to improve the community, especially with the Breaking the Silence, Ending Youth Violence group,” Hogan said. “He will be greatly missed.”

Schurman said Dent was last seen alive Saturday morning.

His body was found on the bathroom floor about 8:30 a.m. Monday by family members and police who went to the home on Locust Street — two buildings from the housing authority police office in the community center — to check on his well-being.

Schurman said there was no sign of forced entry and no indication that Dent's apartment had been ransacked or that he had been robbed.

Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious — possibly Saturday night or Sunday morning — is asked to call 911, Schurman said.

Dent was known for designing and selling his own clothing, neighbors said. They said he served as president of the tenant council and helped distribute food from the housing development's food bank.

“He had an open-door policy and was very well spoken. He told me to come and see him about any complaints I had and told me how to make my complaints to the tenant council and (housing officials),” said one resident, Maureen Christian.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or mhasch@tribweb.com.

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