The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

News

September 6, 2012

Two unrelated deaths remain unsolved

SUNBURY — Circumstances surrounding the deaths of a 22-year-old Kulpmont woman, who was found half naked in the back seat of a vehicle, and a 64-year-old Watsontown woman, who was shot to death inside her home, have yet to be explained by state police or the Northumberland County district attorney.

Just short of a year ago, Kulpmont police found Kortni Ann Kenenitz inside a gray Pontiac Grand Prix parked in front of a home police said she shared with several other people.

State police investigators, as well as deputy coroners, were seen collecting what appeared to be fiber samples from the front and back seats of the car as that probe got under way.

Kenenitz, a 2007 graduate of Mount Carmel Area High School, was lying on her back with her arms above her head. Her head was on the driver’s side of the back seat while her legs were bent at the knees toward the front with her feet near the floor.

Police said her shirt was pulled up, and her jeans were below her hips, exposing her underwear.

Police released information days later saying that alcohol and drugs may have played a role in her death.

On Wednesday, District Attorney Tony Rosini said Kenenitz died of a drug overdose, and police were investigating how and where the drugs were obtained.

Rosini said the investigation is ongoing, and until police have solid evidence, the case will remain open.

State police at Stonington are handling the probe, and the investigating trooper was unavailable for comment Wednesday.

The second case Rosini talked about was the April death of Patricia Thomas, 64, of Watsontown, who was killed by a single gunshot.

Initial reports indicated that Thomas’ husband, Robert, 65, was awakened by an intruder in their house at 1060 Philips Road. Police at first said Robert Thomas grabbed a handgun after hearing the intruder at about 1 a.m. and subsequently was struck on the head by a blunt instrument. The next day, police sent out a press release saying there was no home invasion and the neighborhood was safe.

Autopsy results for Thomas showed she died of a single gunshot to the chest that damaged her right lung and liver. Northumberland County Coroner James Kelley said the gunshot came “from another,” and he labeled the death a homicide.

No arrests have been made, Rosini said. Officials have not said whether the handgun Thomas had was the one used in the shooting.

“These things take time, and I can’t comment on ongoing investigations,” the DA said Wednesday. “I can’t make any statements about these cases.”

Rosini did say police are waiting for results from a laboratory about several items that were seized from the Thomas home and sent for testing.

State police at Milton are investigating the Thomas case.

 

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