Hyde Park man charged in wife’s 2017 death
State police filed homicide and aggravated assault charges Monday against a Hyde Park man who they say killed his wife two years ago after years of abuse.
Jeffrey Mark Fondrk, 57, told investigators in January that he pushed his wife, Patricia Ann Fondrk, over a dog gate during an argument July 7, 2017, at their Main Street home, and she struck her head on the metal arm of a futon, according to a criminal complaint.
Fondrk called authorities the next day, and medics reported finding his wife with life-threatening injuries. She was flown to UPMC Presbyterian, where she died 10 days later, the complaint said.
It wasn’t the first time violence had been reported at the home.
State police said in the criminal complaint that they were called to the home in November 2016 and found Patricia Fondrk with a severe cut on her head and bruises on her body. She told police that her husband had been assaulting her for more than a decade, hitting her once or twice a week.
Jeffrey Fondrk was ordered to stand trial on charges of aggravated and simple assault in connection with that case, even though his wife recanted her statements to police, the complaint said. Prosecutors decided not to pursue the original charges after the death of Patricia Ann Fondrk, who had worked as a substitute teacher.
Trooper Steve Limani, a state police spokesman, said troopers continued to investigate.
Fondrk originally told police and emergency personnel who responded to the home in July 2017 that he didn’t hit his wife or cause the injuries that led to her death. He said he found her unresponsive and suspected that she had injured herself in a fall.
“It was determined by our criminal investigators this was not an accident, this was not a fall. This was definitely injuries that were inflicted by her husband, Jeff Fondrk,” Limani said.
“I think the physical evidence matches up with some other evidence we were able to gather, and those two, in conjunction, were able to be enough information for the district attorney’s office to feel confident they can move forward with such a serious charge,” Limani said.
Fondrk was arraigned Monday and taken to Westmoreland County Prison, where he is being held without bond as he awaits a preliminary hearing.
Police would not comment on why it took nearly two years to file the charges.
Renatta Signorini is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Renatta at 724-837-5374, [email protected] or via Twitter .