Oakland slaying victim's wounds prompt theories

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Among the theories investigators are exploring in the death of a Blawnox man whose body was found in Oakland is that whoever killed him first tortured him, the Allegheny County district attorney said Wednesday.

The county medical examiner's office has said that Andrew McMunn, 23, died of blunt force trauma to the head and also suffered stab wounds to the neck and chest.

District Attorney Stephen A. Zappala Jr. said Wednesday that when investigators briefed him on the case, they described McMunn's body as bruised and noted that he had 19 superficial knife wounds. They also described his ear as "almost being severed," Mr. Zappala said.

"Someone was either mad at him or they set out to hurt him, but they took his life," the district attorney said.

He said police are also exploring the idea that whoever killed McMunn set out to "torture him."

The fact that McMunn was found partially buried in a pile of dirt leads investigators to suspect that whoever killed him also wanted evidence of the crime concealed, Mr. Zappala said.

McMunn was found dead in a ravine near a building in the 600 block of Melwood Avenue about 3 p.m. Sunday after someone spotted his red tennis shoe peeking out of some dirt and debris and called 911.

McMunn's family had reported him missing to police. His brother, Charlie McMunn, posted a message on Facebook saying his brother had been missing since Thursday and was last seen with a large man whom he suspected was from Sharpsburg.

The district attorney asked anyone with information to call Pittsburgh or Blawnox police.

Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com. First Published April 30, 2014 2:17 PM

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