Suspect arrested in Struthers homicide

Roy Cleary Struthers homicide suspect
This 2005 mug shot shows Roy Cleary, arrested Wednesday in the stabbing death of Mark Westfall.

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – A suspect has been arrested in the Tuesday stabbing death of a resident of Struthers Manor.

U.S. Marshals arrested Roy Cleary, 40, at UPMC Hospital in Pittsburgh Wednesday, according to police. The white Chevy Blazer Cleary was driving, which belonged to Westfall, was parked in the parking lot of the UPMC hospital in Farrell, Pa.

An ambulance took Cleary from there to a Pittsburgh hospital, where he checked in under a false name. He spent Wednesday night at the Allegheny County Jail, charged with being a fugitive from justice. An extradition hearing will be held on Thursday.

For an update on the investigation, and to find out whether police are any closer to determining a  solid motive, watch WKBN 27 News at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The body of Mark Westfall, 56, was found Tuesday by a maintenance worker inside Westfall’s Struthers Manor apartment. He had lived there for about a year.

Struthers Police Chief Tim Roddy said the victim knew his attacker but at this point won’t say what led to his being stabbed repeatedly.

“They were friends, but we feel that at some point they had their problems,” Roddy said.

Struthers police search for white Blazer
Police are searching for a 1999 Chevy Blazer belonging to the now-deceased Mark Westfall. The vehicle pictured above is not Westfall’s but is the same year, make and model.

Roddy believes Cleary may have left in Westfall’s 1999 white Chevrolet Blazer that is missing. Police provided a photo of a similar SUV to familiarize everyone with what the vehicle looks like.

Administrators with the Youngstown Metropolitan Housing Authority, which operates Struthers Manor, are responding to complaints made Tuesday by other residents of on-going criminal activity at the complex. YMHA Executive Director Carmelita Douglas said they are aware of four complaints made this year, and only one of them was for drug problems.

“That was investigated by the department for that particular incident. According to the report, it was unfounded,” Douglas said.

Police said Cleary may have been staying with a relative at the complex but administrators say residents are supposed to notify managers if guests remain longer than a couple of weeks.

“I checked with the management and no one has ever made us aware of anyone living there more than a day or so,” said Beverly Bucci, YMHA Director of Operations.

While YMHA officials are shocked and saddened by the stabbing death, they insist the 90-unit complex is safe.

Chad Westfall, the victim’s son, released the following statement Wednesday on behalf of the family. The statement was sent before Cleary’s arrest:

“We are deeply saddened from the untimely killing of our father. Dad (Mark) was a very caring and loving man. He had a strong, solid love for God as well as his two sons, Josh and Chad, and his grandson Liam. We were very shocked to hear about the entire situation and are honestly still in shock. We’re still unsure about what happened leading up to my father’s death, but we have faith in the Police Department to do their job and find whoever is responsible and bring them to justice. At this time we want to thank everyone for their kind words and encouragement.”

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