Greensburg police track down three women charged in fatal heroin overdose
Greensburg police Monday afternoon announced they were looking for three women charged with supplying a fatal dose of heroin that killed a city woman May 16. By evening, all three had been arrested — including one more than 600 miles away.
Police allege Janae M. Brown, 41, of Scottdale; Britnee R. Clark, 38, of Avalon, Allegheny County; and Marcia L. Shearer, 59, of Connellsville, Fayette County, helped arrange the purchase and delivery of the fatal dose of fentanyl-laced heroin stamped “Chunky” that authorities said resulted in 59-year-old Roxanne Gongaware’s death.
Detective Sgt. John Swank obtained arrest warrants for Brown, Shearer and Clark on drug delivery resulting in death charges. Gongaware was discovered dead in the living room of her home in the 400 block of Harrison Avenue about 10 a.m. May 16, according to court documents.
The police department posted on Facebook that it was looking for help finding the three. Shearer was arrested shortly after the post.
Police reported Monday that Clark’s whereabouts were unknown, and that she may have fled the area after hearing about the investigation. She was arrested later that day in Savannah, Ga.
A few hours later, the department announced on Facebook that Greensburg police arrested Brown.
Brown and Shearer were arraigned Monday, and each was jailed on $100,000 cash bail. Both have a preliminary hearing scheduled for Aug. 22 — Brown before District Juge Frank J. Pallone Jr., Shearer before District Judge Chris Flanigan. Clark has yet to be arraigned.
According to court documents filed before District Judge Chris Flanigan, Swank confiscated Gongaware’s cellphone at the scene along with the paraphernalia. Police retrieved text messages between Brown and Gongaware.
Gongaware’s family members reported finding drug paraphernalia including empty stamp bags of the heroin on the kitchen table, according to court documents.
A day after Gongaware’s death, Swank said he met with Brown “who began crying and made a voluntary statement.”
Swank said in court documents that text messages indicated Brown contacted Gongaware, who she described as her friend, about purchasing the heroin between May 12 and 14.
Brown said she and Shearer drove to Avalon, where they met Clark, who is Shearer’s niece. Clark then went to a residence in McKees Rocks, where the trio purchased bags of heroin from an unknown male, according to court documents.
Brown told investigators Gongaware later bought six of the stamp bags and they were delivered to her May 15, according to court papers.
Shearer told Swank in an interview Clark had contacted her after Gongaware’s death and said “(Shearer) should not be talking with police.”
Paul Peirce is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at 724-850-2860, [email protected] or via Twitter .