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Westmoreland

Remains of Vandergrift woman bludgeoned, burned in 2017 ordered to be returned to family

Rich Cholodofsky
| Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018, 5:36 p.m.
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Nearly two years after police discovered the charred remains of a Vandergrift homicide victim in a remote wooded area of Derry Township, her family will regain custody of her body.

The remains of Ronny Cable will be released to a Latrobe funeral home, Westmoreland County Common Pleas Judge Tim Krieger ordered Tuesday. Her body has been in the custody of Coroner Ken Bacha since it was discovered March 8, 2017, about 10 days after her family reported her missing. Neither Assistant District Attorney Pete Caravello nor defense attorneys Brian Aston and Tim Andrews objected to the request from Cable’s family to regain custody of the remains.

Cable’s mother, who attended Tuesday’s hearing, said her daughter’s remains will be taken to Lopatich Funeral Home. No services or memorials are planned, she said.

Police contend Cable, 34, was bludgeoned to death with a hammer in February 2017 before her body was burned by two men deep in the woods following a robbery. Her remains were found a month later, after which forensic testing confirmed Cable’s identity.

A year later, police arrested Devin Andrew Akamichi, 26, of Murrysville and Walter W. Cable, 26, of Greensburg and charged them with criminal homicide. Walter Cable and Ronny Cable were not related.

Police contend the day of the murder, the group visited a store and local bar before traveling out into the woods, where Walter Cable used a hammer to beat Ronny Cable before he strangled her then forced Akamichi to help him burn her body. Akamichi testified against Cable during a preliminary hearing this year that robbery was a motive and that Walter Cable stole money and prescription medicine from her purse after the killing.

Both Walter Cable and Akamichi appeared in court Tuesday for status conference hearings.

Andrews, the attorney for Walter Cable, said he needs more time to prepare the case for trial. He said he needed to review records from a computer seized from Akamichi’s home and a statement given to police from a jailhouse informant who claims to have received information about the killing from Walter Cable.

Trial dates have not been scheduled.

Krieger ordered Walter Cable to return to court in February for another status conference. Akamichi, who has cooperated with police, will appear before Krieger in March.

Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich at 724-830-6293 or rcholodofsky@tribweb.com.

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