Murder investigation stalls

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Mercer County investigators said it will likely take at least two more weeks until they get a clearer picture of what happened to a 76-year-old Hempfield Township businessman who was fatally stabbed more than 70 times.

District Attorney Robert Kochems said in a statement Wednesday investigators will have to wait between two weeks and and three months for toxicology and DNA testing to come back from forensic analyzers from the 362 Mercer Road home where Frank Crash was brutally attacked.

Kochems said multiple blood swabs and other evidence was sent to the Pennsylvania State Police crime lab in Erie for testing, chemical analysis and fingerprints. Some tests, like DNA comparison tests, could take more than three months.

“This investigation is far from over and we do not expect it to be concluded in the near future,” Kochems’ statement says.

Kochems said investigators have no suspects in the murder. He said investigators are trying to piece together a timeline of events and locate stolen items.

Kochems said investigators believe Crash, who owned Frank Crash Auto Wrecking, ate alone at the Hickory Grill last Wednesday in Hermitage. He went home and was murdered at about 10:30 p.m., Kochems said. He was discovered by one of his daughters at about 9:30 a.m. the next day, Kochems said.

Crash was stabbed more than 70 times, including three fatal stabs to his heart and lungs.

Investigators are searching for the murder weapon as well as cash and a large yellow gold 3.5-carat diamond ring stolen from Crash.

Crash was found by police in a pool of blood on his kitchen floor with his smashed cell phone nearby.  The landline phone was pulled out of the wall police said. Someone broke into the home through the back door, police said.

Officers then searched a 21 S. Mercer St. apartment in Greenville rented by a daughter’s boyfriend. A court affidavit says investigators found a light blue shirt with blood on it in a garbage can and dried blood on the bathroom floor.

The boyfriend confirmed the shirt, which was soaked in some kind of chemical, belonged to Crash’s daughter. She told police she cut her hand while opening a can, according to court records.

The affidavit says 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.

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