Meadville Tribune

Local News

January 17, 2014

District attorney quiet after DNA reports are received from Greenville man's murder

MERCER — While DNA confirming testing reports have been received in connection with last summer’s slaying of a well-known Greenville businessman, Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems won’t comment.

A statement from Kochems’ office said reports have been received from the Pennsylvania State Police crime labs on the initial 12 major pieces of evidence submitted for DNA testing in connection with the slaying of Frank Crash.

Crash, 76, a Greenville-area businessman with ties to Conneaut Lake, was found stabbed to death in his Hempfield Township, Mercer County, home in late July.

Based on the reports, Hempfield Township police, state police and detectives from the DA’s office are moving forward in the investigation of Crash’s murder, Kochems said in the statement.

Local authorities were allowed to submit only 12 of the 90 major pieces of evidence collected to the lab for DNA testing, Kochems said. Officers therefore are also meeting with lab technicians in Erie to choose and prepare the next submission.

Based on the length of time the process has already taken, the DA’s office is not expecting new DNA results in the near future, the statement said. The statement also added the current investigation could be resolved without those results at any time.

As he has done with other high-profile cases, Kochems said in the statement that neither his office nor police would comment further or answer questions.

Police said their investigation found Crash left the Hickory Grille in Hermitage at 10:30 p.m. July 24, 2013, after eating dinner alone. Crash, who maintained a home at Conneaut Lake, was found dead on July 25, 2013, around 9:30 a.m. at his home at 362 Mercer Ave. by Pamela Higbee, one of Crash’s daughters. She had gone to her father’s home after Crash failed to show up for work at Frank Crash Auto Wrecking in Greenville. Higbee was unable to reach him by phone at work or home, police said, before she discovered him dead.

An autopsy by the Mercer County Coroner’s Office found Crash had sustained more than 70 stab wounds.

Court documents state someone broke through the back door of Crash’s home. Crash was found on the floor in a pool of blood with a cellphone that had been snapped in two laying beside him. The wireline telephone inside the home also had been ripped from the wall, according to court documents.

Mercer County Crime Stoppers have funded a reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to a conviction in the case, as well as a reward for Crash’s missing large gold ring with a 3.5-carat diamond solitaire.

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