Woman found dead in duct-taped room in New Kensington is identified | TribLIVE.com
Valley News Dispatch

Woman found dead in duct-taped room in New Kensington is identified

Chuck Biedka
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Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
Police say a woman’s badly decomposed body was discovered in the rear apartment of this Victoria Avenue house in New Kensington on Aug. 8.
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Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
New Kensington Code Enforcement on Aug. 8 declared an alley-front residence unsafe. That is the day that Maria Smock, 68, was removed from the residence by the Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office. She was dead for quite some time inside a room that had its windows and door duct-taped shut. Police are investigating.
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Courtesy of RJ Slater IV Funeral Home
Marcia Smock

The Westmoreland County Coroner’s Office identified a woman whose body was found Aug. 8 inside a New Kensington residence.

Marcia Smock, 68, was discovered inside a Victoria Avenue home in a room that had the windows and door duct-taped shut, Westmoreland County Coroner Ken Bacha Jr. said.

The woman had been dead for a long time, he said.

An autopsy was performed, but “the manner and cause (of death) are pending toxicology,” Bacha said.

Officials are trying to find out when and how Smock died. About 19 neglected cats had to be removed from the home after Smock’s body was found.

One of the cats and a dog also were found dead in the residence off Woodbine Alley.

The rescued cats are getting care from Frankie’s Friends. Some of the trained volunteers wore respirators and protective clothing to double check whether any cats were still inside Tuesday.

New Kensington police are investigating, Detective Sgt. Matt Saxman said.

“It is still an open investigation, and charges are pending reports from additional agencies,” he said.

The city’s code enforcement office separately has banned access to the home. The house is marked with a red X to warn police, fire and emergency services crews not to enter in the case of a fire or emergency because it is unsafe.

A code enforcement order on the door also declares the house “unsafe for human occupancy or use” and making it illegal to “use or occupy” it.

Westmoreland County tax records show the house is owned by a New Jersey-based company.

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chuck at 724-226-4711, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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