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Couple found dead in apartment

| Saturday, March 9, 2002, 12:00 p.m.

Pittsburgh police are investigating the deaths of two people whose bodies were found in a Lincoln-Lemington apartment complex Friday in an apparent murder-suicide.

The bodies of Larry Fielder, 49, and his longtime girlfriend, Norma Williamson, 42, were found in the bedroom of a unit in the Lemington Heights Apartments on Schwerner Court about 1:30 p.m. by a sister of the dead woman, city police Cmdr. Maurita Bryant said.

The couple's 3-year-old son also was inside the apartment in an upstairs hallway. It wasn't clear how long the boy had been there or if he'd seen his parents die, Bryant said.

Bryant would not say how the couple was killed, by whom, or if any weapons were found. Bryant said the couple was last seen alive at 12:30 a.m. yesterday. The deaths were termed "suspicious" and were not immediately being investigated as a homicide, Bryant said.

Officials from the Allegheny County Coroner's office said autopsies are scheduled today. They said there were no apparent wounds on either body.

Fielder was the oldest son of Dock Fielder, an East End constable and 12th Ward Democratic chairman.

"I had no warning," said Dock Fielder, 73, of Stanton Heights, as he stood outside the apartment.

Fielder said he talked to his son three weeks ago and he seemed fine. He said his son — an employee with the city's Water and Sewer Authority — was recently staying with him after a short stint at a drug rehabilitation center.

Fielder said Williamson once sought a protection from abuse order against his son, but later rescinded the action. "I tried to keep them apart," he said. "It looked like no good."

While the couple had troubles, Fielder said he saw no indication that violence would erupt. "If I had suspected this, I'd have handcuffed them," he said.

One neighbor, who declined to be identified, said the couple appeared to love each other. The neighbor said Williamson — who they called "Blondie" — doted on the couple's young son.

Both Williamson and Fielder also had older children. One of Larry Fielder's sons, Larry Fielder Jr., 21, was at the scene yesterday, home on spring break from Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Neighbors and family members gathered around the apartment, and about a dozen grabbed hands and stood in a circle to pray as the bodies were carried from the apartment.

"We ask that you touch this family, Father God," said a woman leading the circle. "Take some of this pain away, take some of the uncertainty."

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