Police: Struthers suspect was seeking painkillers

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

STRUTHERS, Ohio (WKBN) – It will most likely be early next week before police know whether a Struthers murder suspect will fight being extradited from Pittsburgh to face his charges.

Roy Cleary, 40, is being held at the Allegheny Jail after being arrested Wednesday on a warrant charging him with the stabbing death of Mark Westfall, 56, on Tuesday. Cleary was arrested at UPMC Hospital in Pittsburgh.

A maintenance man found Westfall’s body inside his Struthers Manor apartment late Tuesday morning and called police. Investigators said Westfall was stabbed more than two dozen times and his white Chevy Blazer was missing. The SUV was found Wednesday evening at a hospital parking lot in Farrell.

“I did locate physical evidence to link him to the scene of the crime at his apartment in the same building down the hall,” said Struthers Police Detective Lt. Jeff Lewis.

Lewis said Cleary’s drug addiction is how he was eventually caught.

“It appears he was going from emergency room to emergency room seeking treatment or medication,” Lewis said.

Detectives believe Cleary is addicted to painkillers and spent most of the day Wednesday crisscrossing western Pennsylvania. Authorities have surveillance video of him at Jameson Hospital in New Castle, then at UPMC Horizon in Farrell, where Westfall’s SUV was found, then to Sharon Regional and finally to UPMC Presbyterian in Pittsburgh, where he was arrested.

“He actually called an ambulance to transport him from one to the other. That is actually what brought him to UPMC in Pittsburgh,” Lewis said .

Police said Cleary was using an alias, calling himself John Reilly. Members of the U.S. Marshals Task Force in Pittsburgh finally tracked him down.

“They were actually using our wanted posters and they were going just about door-to-door, employee-to-employee, showing it to them at Presbyterian Hospital and eventually they did locate him there,” Lewis said.

At this point, police won’t speculate on any motives in the case. Police said once Cleary is released in Pennsylvania, they intend to bring him back to the Valley to appear in court..

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