Meadville Tribune

February 2, 2013

Murder victim's family asks for help

By Keith Gushard
Meadville Tribune

MEADVILLE — Nearly six weeks after his homicide, the family of David A. Dignall is appealing to the public to help solve his murder that took place in rural northern Mercer County, just south of the border with Crawford County.

“Any help would be greatly appreciated,” according to a brief letter from Dignall’s family that appears on today’s editorial page of The Meadville Tribune.

The brief letter asks anyone with information to contact Trooper Terry Geibel of Pennsylvania State Police at Mercer.

Cathy Burchill, one of Dignall’s sisters and a spokeswoman for the family, declined a Tribune request for additional comment about the case.

Also, Pennsylvania State Police at Mercer are not releasing any more information about the case at this point.

On Friday, state police at Mercer would only reiterate the investigation is ongoing. No suspect has been named by police nor have any arrests been made.

Dignall, 58, of 28 Blair Lane, Carlton, was killed by a shotgun blast on Dec. 20, 2012, on a rural road in French Creek Township, Mercer County.

Dignall was found outside a Ford Aerostar van when Cochranton Volunteer Fire Department was called to respond to a vehicle fire at 5:28 p.m. on Hollabaugh Road.

The area where the van was found wasn’t far from Dignall’s Carlton home and was about three miles south of Cochranton. Dignall worked at Dignall’s Auto Parts in Cochranton with his brother and mother.

The death was ruled a homicide due to a single shotgun wound to the back by Robert L. Snyder, a Mercer County deputy coroner. Snyder ruled the death a homicide following an autopsy Dec. 21 in Erie by Dr. Eric Vey, a forensic pathologist with the Erie County Coroner’s Office.

Both Dignall and the van were partially burned; however, the fire did not contribute to Dignall’s death, Snyder said.

Authorities have not released any information about the gun or shell type used in Dignall’s shooting. Authorities also have not commented on how far away Dignall was from whomever shot him and what type of clothing Dignall was wearing at the time.

Dignall was last seen in Cochranton a little after 5 p.m. on Dec. 20, leaving the family-owned auto parts shop, according to police. The van Dignall was driving is owned by Dignall’s Auto Parts, and Dignall often drove it, police said.

Keith Gushard can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at