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RANDOLPH TOWNSHIP — The woman and child found dead Saturday in a Route 198 home were the victims of a double homicide, Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz confirmed in an interview with the Tribune on Sunday.

Shannon Whitman, 49, and her 10-year-old son died late Saturday, according to Crawford County Coroner Scott Schell. The time of death was still under investigation, Schell said, and authorities were not yet releasing information on the cause of death. 

Schultz urged residents to be on the lookout for a 2009 Lincoln MKS sedan, license plate KXW5126 and gray-silver in color, that was missing and believed stolen from the residence where the victims were found.

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

A Pennsylvania 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.

The identities of the victims were being withheld pending further notifications of family members, according to Schultz.

The victims were discovered when a family member arrived home at approximately 10 p.m. Saturday, police reported. The woman and child were dead when they were found.

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 call state police at (814) 332-6911.

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