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RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP — A 21-year-old Cochranton man is being sought in connection with a double homicide Saturday at a home on Route 198, according to Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz.

“We’re looking for Jack Turner,” Schultz told the Tribune on Sunday evening after a Pennsylvania State Police press release announced a person of interest had been developed in the case.

Shannon Whitman, 49, and her 10-year-old son were found dead Saturday at approximately 10 p.m. when a family member returned home, according to police.

Online court records show that Jack Elijah Turner faces a charge of theft by unlawful taking for an incident Saturday in Randolph Township. Turner has not been charged with homicide.

Turner appeared in the Tribune’s “Most Wanted” feature in December when he failed to appear for his formal arraignment after he was charged by Cochranton Police Department with terroristic threats with intent to terrorize another and disorderly conduct.

According to the Crawford County Sheriff’s Office, Turner is 5 feet, 8 inches tall, 140 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes.

State police are also searching for a gray- or silver-colored 2009 Lincoln MKS sedan, license plate KXW5126, that is believed to have been stolen from the victims’ residence.

Schultz urged residents to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

“We certainly want people looking for that car,” he said. “If they see the car, they should call state police or 911 immediately.”

A state police shift supervisor in Meadville said that if the vehicle is spotted by the public, the driver should be considered dangerous.

“In the event they see the vehicle, they’re safe in assuming that person is not safe to be around,” he said. He added that investigators do not believe there is a specific danger to any additional individuals.

The Pennsylvania State Police Troop E Major Case Team is leading the investigation of the homicides, he said.

According to the police press release, Whitman and her son were killed between 6:50 and 10 p.m. Saturday.

The exact time of death was still under investigation, Crawford County Coroner Scott Schell said, and authorities were not yet releasing information on the cause of death.

Autopsies to be performed in Erie were being scheduled, according to Schell.

“We’ll know more here probably by (Monday),” he said.

Anyone with information regarding the case should contact state police at (814) 332-6911. 

Mike Crowley can be reached at 724-6370 or by email at mcrowley@meadvilletribune.com.


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