Police in Hempfield Township continue to investigate the murder of a local businessman.
Hempfield Township police, Pennsylvania State Police and the Mercer County Coroner’s Office are investigating the Thursday morning homicide of Frank Crash, 76, at a home in Hempfield Township, just south of Greenville.
According to court records, police found Crash’s body lying in a pool of blood on the kitchen floor along with a cell phone that was broken in two pieces. An investigator with the coroner’s office said the body “appeared to have several stab wounds,” but a full autopsy was scheduled for Friday in Erie County.
Officers also noted the home phone was pulled out of the wall.
A four-carat diamond ring was missing form the residence. Officers swept through the house at 362 Mercer Road and found evidence of forced entry at a back door.
Officers also were at a second scene Thursday evening. That scene was at 21 S. Mercer St. Apt. 2 in Greenville, which is rented by the boyfriend of Crash’s daughter. There they found a light blue shirt with blood on it in a garbage can, as well as dried blood on the bathroom floor. The daughter’s boyfriend confirmed the shirt, which was soaked in some kind of chemical, was that of Crash’s daughter. She told police she cut her hand while opening a can, according to court records.
A warrant filed in Mercer County District Court shows an off-duty officer saw the victim’s daughter walking toward Crash’s residence on Wednesday afternoon. He said she was wearing a light blue shirt and blue jeans.
The daughter’s boyfriend told police officers had been at the apartment on Monday for a domestic dispute between the couple.
Court records show a relative found Crash after she went to the residence to check on him when he did not show up for work. Crash was the owner of Frank Crash Auto Wrecking, which has two locations in Greenville.
The Crash family issued a statement Friday afternoon saying the family is “extremely saddened by this tragedy. It is heartbreaking to know that crimes like this can occur in a town that prides themselves on family values.” The statement goes on to say that Crash would do anything for his family members and they are now asking for privacy as they grieve his death. “We plan to live out Frank’s legacy and continue providing the area with superb service as well as supporting the local community.”
Employees of a restaurant across the street from the victim’s home watched as investigators spent all day Thursday looking for evidence.
“It’s unbelievable. Thing like this don’t happen here. At first we were kinda, when it happened in the morning, we thought maybe he just had a heart attack or natural causes. You hear all this and you know how the rumors go. And it’s pretty crazy,” said Justin Jamison.
Jamison said investigators arrived about 9:30 a.m. and were at the scene until after 9 p.m.
Gary Hittle, who has been a township supervisor for 33 years, said he has known Crash all his life.
“He was a good man. He was a good businessman. He treated the township well,” Hittle said.
Calling hours for Crash will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Monday at the Loutzenhiser-Jordon Funeral Home on Main Street in Greenville. A funeral mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday at St. Michael’s Catholic Church in Greenville.