Possible suspect found in slaying of Wolfe sisters of East Liberty
Investigators have a potential suspect in the fatal shooting of two sisters in their East Liberty home, Allegheny County District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said on Monday.
“There's a guy I like,” Zappala said.
He wouldn't identify the man or describe his connection to the sisters, but Zappala said detectives made “a great deal” of progress on the case and met with officials in his office in the morning.
“It's amazing, with the technology people are using, the information you can generate in a short period of time,” Zappala said.
Dr. Sarah Wolfe, 38, a psychiatrist for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, and Susan Wolfe, 44, a teacher's aide at Hillel Academy of Pittsburgh in Squirrel Hill, died in a home the younger sibling bought in December on Chislett Street. Friends and Pittsburgh police went to the home when the women did not go to work on Friday. They found the bodies in the basement. The medical examiner said each died from a single gunshot in the head.
Lt. Daniel Herrmann, who supervises the homicide squad, would not talk about the investigation.
“We're working diligently and following up all the details we can,” he said.
Police officers stepped up patrols in and around the neighborhood, Zone 5 Cmdr. Timothy O'Connor said.
“It's tragic that this happened,” he said. “We've increased uniform patrols not only in East Liberty, but in the surrounding area. Whoever this perpetrator is, is still at large.”
Neighbors on Chislett described the street as quiet, and O'Connor said East Liberty is becoming less known for crime.
“I think the stature of the ladies in question moving into the neighborhood speaks for its stability,” said Charles Honeywell, who works with East Liberty Chamber of Commerce.
Sarah Wolfe had worked for UPMC since 2007. Susan Wolfe recently moved to Pittsburgh.
Shortly after Sarah Wolfe bought the house, the pair came home from a celebratory birthday dinner to find the home burglarized, said Dori Oshlag, director of the early childhood center at Hillel. The burglary worried Susan Wolfe, who talked about putting bars on windows and installing an alarm system.
“But her general way was, she just took it in stride,” Oshlag said. “She said, ‘We'll do the necessary things that need to be done.' She loved the new home.”
Police would not release details about the burglary.
Oshlag said the center had planned a celebration in honor of Susan Wolfe's name to kick off “S” week. The center's students celebrate a week for each letter of the alphabet. Instead, grief counselors were made available to the staff.
“Susan had such genuine, positive outlook on life, on people,” Oshlag said. “She was very excited to be living here with her sister. There was no reason for us to have thought that something like this would ever have occurred.”
Sarah and Susan Wolfe are natives of Des Moines, Iowa. They are survived by their parents, four sisters and two brothers. Services are scheduled Friday in Clinton, Iowa, where their parents live.
Margaret Harding is a Trib Total Media staff writer. Staff writer Adam Brandolph contributed to this report.
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.
- Number of jobs in high-tech industry outpace workers in Pittsburgh, nation
- Latest flu vaccines offer protection from 4 influenza strains instead of traditional 3
- Nonprofits replace humdrum charity 5Ks with rappelling
- Internet access still out of reach for some, Census figures show
- Jailed ex-officer could cost Pittsburgh $135K
- Mandated sewer project to increase Alcosan customers’ bills
- Fees, interest mount over August Wilson site, Dollar claims
- Embattled VFW mulls image
- Family becomes ‘forever’