Slain sisters in East Liberty died of single gunshot wounds to the head

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Police are asking for the public's help in solving the killing of two sisters found dead in their East Liberty home Friday afternoon.

Investigators are also working to piece together video footage from business cameras near South Whitfield Street between Penn Avenue and Baum Boulevard, where police found 38-year-old Sarah Wolfe's lime green 2011 Ford Fiesta early Saturday morning.

The body of Dr. Wolfe, a UPMC pediatrician and psychiatrist, was found alongside her sister Susan Wolfe, 44, in the unfinished basement of their home in the 700 block of Chislett Street. Susan Wolfe's co-workers called police to check on her because she failed to show up for her job as a teacher's aide at Hillel Academy in Squirrel Hill.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said Sunday that both sisters died of single gunshot wounds to the head.

Pittsburgh police Lt. Daniel Herrmann said investigators are asking people to report anything they may have been seen or heard between 5 p.m. Thursday, when Susan Wolfe was last seen, and when the sisters' bodies were discovered about 1:30 p.m. Friday, either at their home or where Sarah Wolfe's car was found on South Whitfield Street, about a mile from the house. Police believe the killer or killers took the car from the house.

"We're asking anyone in the East Liberty area or Highland Park to call us if they can give us a piece of the puzzle," Lt. Herrmann said. "It could be a minute piece of the puzzle but it still puts something into our puzzle."

The homicide squad can be reached at 412-323-7161.

Lt. Herrmann said police are working to pull video footage from businesses near where the car was found but would not say whether police have identified a suspect or discuss the type of weapon used.

"We're pushing this one really hard," Lt. Herrmann said. "We don't want to harm the investigation by releasing information."

Autopsies were conducted Saturday, then the bodies were re-examined Sunday, though they did not reveal precise times of death, said Karl Williams, Allegheny County medical examiner.

Dr. Williams said the sisters had other injuries but that those injuries did not contribute to their deaths. He declined to elaborate.

"I'm not willing to talk about their other injuries other than to say that they did not contribute to their deaths," Dr. Williams said. He would not say whether the women were sexually assaulted.

The Wolfe sisters were part of a family that included eight siblings, most of whom live in Iowa.

One is Mary Wolfe, a Democratic representative in the Iowa state Legislature.

Mary Wolfe said Saturday that her sisters were "incredible people" and that a service is expected this week, likely in Iowa.

Karen Kane: or 724-772-9180. Robert Zullo and Richard Webner contributed. First Published February 9, 2014 3:41 PM


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