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Arrest made in missing Dravosburg woman’s death after her body was found |

Arrest made in missing Dravosburg woman’s death after her body was found

Michael DiVittorio
| Wednesday, January 23, 2019 9:52 p.m
Dale Cooper

Allegheny County police arrested a man Wednesday night in connection with the death of Dravosburg woman who had been missing since early Novermber.

Dale Cooper, 36, no address given, was apprehended in Homestead around 8:50 Wednesday by county officers and Homestead and Munhall police.

He faces charges of criminal homicide, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse in connection with the murder of 46-year-old Heather Short.

Homicide detectives located Short’s skeletal remains in a wooded area along Scott Haven in Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County, around 10:25 a.m. Wednesday. The location is just a few hundred yards from the Allegheny County border.

Detectives determined Cooper was responsible for her death and arrested him Wednesday night.

She was last seen around 10 pm. Nov. 6 on Third Street in West Mifflin, where she was staying with friends.

Relatives said earlier she had childhood illness that led to the degradation of her right hip, and she had more than 70 surgeries as a result.

Her mother, Valerie Graham, said Short graduated from Carlow College and was a teacher until she became a victim of drug addiction. It started when Short relied on Oxycontin and other prescription opiates to manage her pain.

“For 20 years, she’s battled in and out of rehabs, on and off of street drugs,” Graham said in December. “She always wanted to just overcome, but she couldn’t survive without the medication.”

Short was the mother of three children.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter @MikeJdiVittorio.

Michael DiVittorio is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Michael at 412-871-2367, or via Twitter .

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