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Fayette deaths apparent murder-suicide

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Monday, June 16, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A Fairchance woman was shot once in the head on Saturday by a man police said she was dating, and he later turned the gun on himself, according to investigators.

Fayette County Coroner Dr. Phillip Reilly said Leah Fields, 19, was pronounced dead in the mobile home of James Dice Jr., 29, along Clark Road in Georges.

Trooper James Garlick said the pair had been dating and there were no known incidents between them before the murder-suicide.

Dice died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head and was pronounced dead at the scene by Deputy Coroner Robert Furin, Reilly said. Autopsies were performed on Sunday.

There was a “period of time not yet precisely determined” between the two deaths, Reilly said. State police are investigating, and Garlick estimated in a news release the murder-suicide happened between 3 a.m. and 1:15 p.m.

Dice's mobile home is in a rural area secluded by woods. A trampoline sat along a short driveway leading to the home. A small child's playhouse and a porch sat in the backyard.

An employee at Myers Pizza in Fairchance and Garlick confirmed that Fields and Dice worked there. The employee declined to comment further.

The pizza shop is about five miles away from Dice's home.

An aunt of Fields asked for privacy. No one from Dice's family could be reached.

The bodies were found when someone stopped by Dice's home on Saturday, Garlick said. He declined to release information about the type of firearm used.

Funeral arrangements are being handled by Dean C. Whitmarsh Funeral Home in Fairchance, Reilly said.

Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or rsignorini@tribweb.com.

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