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Valley News Dispatch

Police say multiple shooters possible in Parks Township double murder

Chuck Biedka
| Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017, 12:24 p.m.
State police investigators gather evidence at the scene of a double murder in Parks Township on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
State police investigators gather evidence at the scene of a double murder in Parks Township on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
State police and Parks Township Police examine the scene of a double shooting in the Pleasant View neighborhood of Parks on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
State police and Parks Township Police examine the scene of a double shooting in the Pleasant View neighborhood of Parks on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
State police investigators remove evidence from the scene of a double murder in Parks Township on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
State police investigators remove evidence from the scene of a double murder in Parks Township on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
State police and Parks Township Police examine the scene of a double shooting at Parks Township on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
State police and Parks Township Police examine the scene of a double shooting at Parks Township on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
State police sign in before entering the scene of a double murder in Parks Township to search for evidence on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
Chuck Biedka | Tribune-Review
State police sign in before entering the scene of a double murder in Parks Township to search for evidence on Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2017.
State Police and Parks Township Police examine the scene of a double shooting at Parks Township, Tuesday, Naov. 14, 2017.
Andrew Russell | Tribune-Review
State Police and Parks Township Police examine the scene of a double shooting at Parks Township, Tuesday, Naov. 14, 2017.

State police say they are looking for one and possibly more suspects in the shooting deaths of two people in Parks Township on Monday.

The bodies of Dawayne Klingensmith, 29, and Heather Swiklinski, 22, were found in their West Fifth Street home in Park's Pleasant View neighborhood by a relative at about 3:30 p.m. Monday.

Swiklinski's 17-month-old child was found unharmed in a crib.

Police believe the child was unattended for less than a day, probably only several hours.

The child first was turned over to Armstrong County Children and Youth Services Monday but then placed in the care of a relative.

Armstrong County Coroner Brian K. Myers said the couple's deaths are ruled homicide by gunshot.

"We have a double homicide investigation under way," said state police Lt. Eric Hermick, who is leading the investigation.

Hermick said he doesn't want to frighten residents, but the suspects are still at large.

The attack may not have been random.

Someone broke into the house about two weeks before the murders, Hermick said.

Troopers won't speculate what might have been inside the house or what someone thought was inside the house.

Hermick said more than five shots were fired in the violent incident but declined to say exactly how many.

Myers said he couldn't say at this time how many times each victim was shot.

Police were at the house until 3 a.m. Tuesday and they returned later in the morning, said Parks Township police Chief Doug Cuica.

Crime scene reconstruction troopers and a forensic team collected evidence throughout the day.

Police said the couple was last seen alive about 24 hours before their bodies were found inside the small, sided house along the main street of the neighborhood, that some call North Vandergrift.

Hermick said at least two guns were fired, one of which was recovered at the home. It is not known if one of the victims fired the gun police found there.

Neighbors expressed shock.

"We like it above the river. It's a quiet neighborhood," said Daniel Porter, who has lived in North Vandergrift about 40 years.

"Something like this doesn't happen here. Before, you never had to lock your doors. Now, we are.

"I hope they get someone soon. The quicker the better."

Chuck Biedka is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-226-4711, cbiedka@tribweb.com or via Twitter @ChuckBiedka.

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