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Hostage suspect caught in Pittsburgh

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Keith Kammerdeiner of Worthington was convicted on July 18, 2013, of raping his estranged girlfriend while threatening her with an improvised explosive device in her Worthington home in October 2012.

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By Tim Karan
Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012, 12:01 a.m.

The man accused of holding his ex-girlfriend hostage at her Worthington home on Thursday was taken into custody later that night after Port Authority police noticed him acting suspiciously at a subway station in Pittsburgh.

According to state trooper John Grossi, the police took Keith L. Kammerdeiner, 38, of Aliquippa, to UPMC Mercy for observation where his identity and connection to the incident in Worthington were confirmed.

“(Port Authority police) noticed he had blood on his face and thought he was acting peculiar,” said Grossi. “They took him to the hospital unbeknownst of what was going on up here.”

Grossi said state troopers apprehended Kammerdeiner around 2 or 3 a.m. Friday morning, ending what started as a volatile situation in Worthington the previous morning.

According to the criminal complaint filed with District Judge James Owen in Kittanning, Kammerdeiner — who had been in a relationship with his 27-year-old victim, until April — arrived at her Main Street home around 8:05 a.m. Thursday. She told authorities Kammerdeiner didn't act unusual until after her son had boarded a school bus 25 minutes later. When the woman told Kammerdeiner to leave, he pulled a knife and a canister of mace from his backpack and sprayed her as she tried to escape. The pair struggled over the knife, causing cuts to the his face and the woman's hand.

Kammerdeiner then threw the woman's cell phone out a window, pushed her onto a couch and held the knife to her throat. He allegedly told her the only reason she was still alive was to see her son again and that she would live if she cooperated and granted Kammerdeiner exclusive access to her for three days. He bound her wrists and feet with zip ties and showed the woman a duct tape-wrapped container with a fuse that he claimed was a bomb filled with nails and shrapnel. He said he would use the bomb to kill himself and police when they arrived.

The victim told police that Kammerdeiner began to sexually assault her about an hour later.

At around 2:30 p.m., the victim convinced Kammerdeiner to retrieve her phone so she could say goodbye to her family. He tied her to a register, found the phone and began searching through her text messages and photos. Around that time, the woman was cut loose by Kammerdeiner and she managed to run out the kitchen door to the market across the street from where authorities were called.

Although state and local police set up a perimeter around the house, they were to learn Kammerdeiner had fled before they arrived, prompting an extensive search that lasted into the evening.

No explosive device was found at the house and Grossi didn't know if any such item had been found on Kammerdeiner at the time of his arrest. He was apparently taken into custody without incident.

Kammerdeiner was charged with multiple counts of rape, aggravated assault, making terroristic threats and risking a catastrophe and placed in Armstrong County Jail by Owen in lieu of $150,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing has been set for Wednesday.

Tim Karan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-543-1303 or

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