Elderly mom's death a homicide, coroner rules
Mary Yecko, 85, was suffocated, and her death was a homicide, Allegheny County Coroner Cyril Wecht ruled Wednesday.
A visiting nurse found the bedridden Yecko's body on Sept. 2 in the bedroom of the Baldwin Borough home she shared with her son, Albert, 62. Police believe Mary Yecko's death was part of a murder-suicide.
Police found Albert Yecko dead of a self-inflicted gunshot the next day in a creek in Woodcock Township, Crawford County.
Allegheny County police homicide Sgt. Christopher Kearns said a detective had talked to Albert Yecko on the telephone several hours after his mother's body was found. Police had no other suspects.
"The detective urged him to come back, but he said he couldn't, and that if he did, we would take him to jail," Kearns said. "He told us not to worry and that the autopsy would show how she died. He said that he wanted to take his own life and that he couldn't care for his mother any longer."
Police believe that Albert Yecko was overwhelmed by the burden of caring for his ailing mother full time.
Several days before the deaths, other family members had taken Mary Yecko to a nursing home, but Albert Yecko was upset that she wasn't receiving proper medical care and checked her out, police said.
"He was not happy with the circumstances and conditions at the home," Kearns said. "He was under a lot of strain, and she had problems that needed constant care."
The surviving members of the Yecko family declined comment.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.