Finding intruder frightened Lower Burrell woman
An elderly Lower Burrell woman woke up Saturday morning and thought something was amiss with one of her kitchen windows.
So Audrey Graff called police a little after 8 a.m. Because Graff's alarm system wasn't activated, she thought that maybe someone tried to get in but failed.
She and police decided they didn't need to search her residence.
That changed about 45 minutes later.
“Something told me to check the house,” Graff said Tuesday. “I went upstairs, and there was someone in a bed.
“I didn't wait to see if it was a man or a woman or whatever,” she said. “I ran out of the house — lost a shoe — and ran over to my nephew's house next door.
“I was so upset, I couldn't dial 911,” she said. “My nephew did.”
Graff said police returned quickly.
Lower Burrell police identified the still-sleeping woman as Allison Marie Plusquellic, 36, of Wayne Street, Lower Burrell.
“They had a hard time rousing her,” she said.
Graff later gestured toward the kitchen: “That's the small window where she got in. I don't know how she did it.”
Plusquellic declined to comment to the Tribune-Review.
She referred a reporter to her attorney but then refused to give that person's name. An attorney's name didn't appear with her case information on the state's computerized court information system Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier Tuesday, Plusquellic told a reporter for Trib news partner WPXI that she thought she was at her mother's home.
Police said on Monday that Plusquellic had been drinking at the Lamp Post bar and restaurant and decided to walk to a relative's.
Graff's house on Wildlife Lodge Road was the second that Plusquellic had tried to enter by climbing through a window, authorities said. They said she failed at the first attempt, at a house on Edgecliff Road, but left her purse outside.
Plusquellic faces burglary and two trespassing charges. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for Tuesday.
Graff has fresh memories about how she felt Saturday.
“It was very frightening,” Graff said. “I think I lost a couple years of my life.
“She almost gave me a heart attack.”
There has been a heartening response to her ordeal.
Graff said people from her neighborhood and church have visited and checked on her.
“One brought me a bottle of wine,” she said. “That was the best.”