East Deer woman found dead in Plum; husband charged with homicide
By Liz Hayes and Bill Vidonic
Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013, 10:27 a.m.
An East Deer man told police he erupted in a “fit of rage” over his wife's decade-long affair with a co-worker, killing her with blows to the head with a floor jack, according to a police complaint.
Police charged Thomas Edwin Clark, 50, with homicide, abuse of a corpse, and tampering with evidence after detectives found Jill Clark's decomposing body in a wooded area near a gas utility road in Plum around 7:10 a.m. Saturday. Thomas Clark waited in the Allegheny County Jail for arraignment.
An autopsy was not complete on Jill Clark Saturday to determine the cause and manner of death.
On Friday night at approximately 10:40 p.m., detectives from the Allegheny County Police Homicide unit found the Clarks' Dodge van parked along a street in New Kensington, Allegheny County Police Lt. Andrew Schurman said. Thomas Clark had loaned the vehicle to a man in exchange for illegal drugs.
Police arrested Thomas Clark Friday night in Deer Lakes Park. He was bloody, and Schurman said he apparently tried to take his own life, cutting his wrists and ingesting 30 stamp bags of heroin.
Police said Thomas Clark told them his wife had left their house at 508 W. Ninth Ave. between 2 and 3 a.m. Tuesday after the couple argued, and he had not seen her since. According to the criminal complaint, Thomas Clark had scratches and marks on his body, and he told police that Jill Clark had “become increasingly aggressive in the past few days and that she was arguing and being physically aggressive with him.”
The complaint continued, “Tom stated that a person can only take so much before they eventually snap.”
Jill Clark, a Postal Service worker, had been reported missing Tuesday by her co-workers when she failed to show up for work. Jill Clark's son, Edwin, told police Friday that “he fully believes that Tom had killed Jill,” police wrote, as he noted that Tom Clark's behavior had become “increasingly disturbing,” and that Clark “had made statements to him including stating he is sorry for the situation and that he didn't think it would get like this.”
After police found Tom Clark in the park, he told them that he confronted his wife about an affair she had with a co-worker, which had caused problems for the couple, police wrote in the complaint.
Tom Clark said that he believed that the affair had ended, but had recently discovered it was still ongoing. During the confrontation, police wrote, Tom Clark said his wife “shoved and slapped him, insulted him, humiliated him,” and he struck her with the floor jack.
Tom Clark told police he wrapped his wife's remains in plastic and dumped the body in brush off a road near the Plum police station. He returned the next day, but could not bring himself to bury her, so he removed the plastic, tape and her clothing and disposed the evidence in various nearby locations.
With the information Clark gave them, investigators found Jill Clark's remains.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Garden Q&A: Firecracker vine OK for trellis?
- Starkey: Penguins’ arrogance astounding
- Matt Calvert’s goal in double OT evens series for Blue Jackets
- Boxer ‘Hurricane’ Carter, famously wrongly convicted, dies at 76
- Draftees’ longevity key for NFL success
- Miss America asks York school to rethink prom question suspension
- More women seize opportunities to start businesses
- Penguins’ Gibbons scores twice but leaves with apparent injury
- Biertempfel: Kendall’s book offers inside look at life in majors
- NFL notebook: Pryor will be cut if he’s not traded
- Officials identify Chartiers shooting victim as Wilkinsburg man