Motive remains unclear in slaying of Kennedy Township man
Neighbors were on edge Wednesday as word spread that a Kennedy man was apparently shot and killed inside the home he and his fiancee had spent years renovating.
John L. Parkes, Jr., 59, died of gunshot wounds in the head and neck on Monday afternoon inside the Poplar Street home that property records show he has owned with Carol A. Lapaglia, 48, since 2007.
Allegheny County investigators are treating the death as a homicide.
“Him and his (fiancee), they were just the sweetest couple you could ever meet,” said neighbor Janet Slaney, 74, who greeted Parkes nearly every day as she walked around the quiet suburban block of fenced, single-family homes and duplexes.
Parkes' family members could not be reached. Lapaglia declined to comment as detectives helped her remove photos and other belongings from the home with beige siding, white trim and a brown wooden porch. Detectives later canvassed the neighborhood.
Parkes has no criminal history, and records show no professional licenses or businesses in his name.
“He was a hard worker — he was always doing something in his yard, always fixing something, painting something, planting something,” said Susan Varley, 60, another neighbor who walked her dog past Parkes' two-story house and offered a “hello.”
Other neighbors said Parkes was a handyman who did not appear to have regular work aside from jobs around his well-kept property. He had replaced the siding, windows and roof of the house since the couple moved in. Parkes had recently finished painting its large deck.
Investigators said there was no sign of forced entry between the time that his fiancee left their house about 11 a.m. and when she returned to find his body about four hours later.
In addition to being shocked by the loss of a good neighbor, residents were worried about whether Parkes was targeted or whether it was a random crime that could have struck any of them.
“It's sad that someone has passed away, even more so if it was a random thing,” said neighbor David Metrovich, 58.
Carol Sutey-Hughes, a Sheraden resident acting as caretaker for a man living near Parkes' home who uses a wheelchair, said she was on guard because of a break-in elsewhere in the neighborhood more than a week ago.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by O'Brien's Funeral Home in Brighton Heights.
Staff writer Michael Hasch contributed to this report. Matthew Santoni is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-380-5625 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Add Matthew Santoni to your Google+ circles.
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.
- Mt. Lebanon deer-culling corrals sprayed with urine, repellent
- Loose barges on the Mon highlight woes of winter’s end
- Police looking for Duquesne man they say assaulted 13-year-old girl
- 4 World War II veterans from Western Pa. honored by French government
- Wilkinsburg father ordered to have no contact with daughter or her grandmother
- Drilling group says Wolf overestimates expected tax revenue
- Federal jury says gas company shorted owners on royalties
- New Monroeville Mall policy aims to tame teen shoppers
- Fired Plum officer won’t get job back
- Police: Suspect in 1970 cold case homicide of 17-year-old dies days before charges filed
- 14 more arrested in connection with drug trafficking ring