Just weeks after moving from Iowa to Pittsburgh, two sisters were found shot to death in the basement of the East Liberty home that one of them purchased in December, according to Pittsburgh police.
UPMC psychiatrist Sarah Wolfe and her sister, whom police would not identify, were found after police from the city's Zone 5 station in Highland Park were asked at 12:45 p.m. Friday to check on the well-being of the sister, who had not shown up for her job as a teacher's aide that morning, major crimes Lt. Daniel Herrmann said.
A friend of one of the women let police inside the house in the 700 block of Chislett Street, which showed no signs of forced entry, police said.
"Once inside, they found two middle-aged females had passed away," Lt. Herrmann said.
Both women suffered gunshot wounds, and the case is being treated as a homicide, he said.
Police are searching for a lime green 2011 Ford Fiesta, with Pennsylvania license plate HSD 7462, in connection with the women's deaths. It was last seen around 9:25 Thursday night, and police said they believe it belonged to one of the women.
"We believe, maybe, the perpetrator of this crime has that car," Lt. Herrmann said.
He said the sisters, both between the ages of 38 and 45, lived together in the Chislett Street house.
Dr. Wolfe was a pediatrician, child psychiatrist and adult psychiatrist. She worked at Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, as a consultant at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC and was an assistant professor with the University of Pittsburgh's Department of Psychiatry, said Claudia Roth, president and CEO of Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and vice president of Behavioral Health for UPMC.
Her sister was a teacher's aide at a school in Squirrel Hill, Lt. Herrmann said. The Allegheny County medical examiner's office will release her name after her next of kin has been notified, he said.
"We send our sympathy to Sarah's family and friends who mourn her loss as well as the loss of her sister," Ms. Roth said. "... [Dr. Wolfe] was known as a very compassionate, warm, caring and bright physician who was praised by patients, families, staff and colleagues."
A neighbor, 29-year-old Stacey Clark, said she saw Dr. Wolfe's sister outside her house a few days ago and she had seemed fine -- the two of them greeted each other and then went their separate ways as usual.
The neighborhood, which has seen its share of gun violence but which residents say has become much safer in recent years, is generally a peaceful place disturbed only by loud music from a few boisterous parties now and then, Ms. Clark said.
So hearing that the nice lady with whom she traded pleasantries just days ago had been killed was shocking and sad, she said.
"It's very scary when you live right across the street, especially in a neighborhood that's quiet and safe," Ms. Clark said.
Few people in the neighborhood knew the sisters had moved in, much less knew them. But news of their deaths was unsettling, especially since the killer has not been caught, said 71-year-old Carlana Rhoten, who also lives across the street.
"That will probably prompt me to have more security for the house," she said.
Amy McConnell Schaarsmith: firstname.lastname@example.org. Lexi Belculfine: email@example.com. First Published February 7, 2014 3:17 PM