Missing teen found beaten

Police were attempting to piece together a bizarre chain of events in Homestead

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Police from Allegheny County and Homestead were trying to piece together a bizarre chain of events Thursday that involved an unconfirmed abduction, an assault, a SWAT call-out and the reappearance of a missing teenager.

Homestead police Chief Jeffrey DeSimone said officers received a call about 1:40 p.m. Thursday from a woman who was concerned because she had just been told that her 16-year-old son had not arrived at school that day and she was hearing that he might have been abducted.

When officers arrived at the woman's residence on Sarah Street, they found 10 shell casings on either side of the street that appeared to indicate that at least two people had fired different weapons, likely aiming at each other, the chief said.

They did not see any signs of blood in the surrounding snow, and no one had arrived at local hospitals at that time in connection with the exchange.

Around the time officers arrived on Sarah Street, the missing boy's father and another man pulled up to the woman's home in a car marked with bullet holes, the chief said.

Then, the chief said, he received a call from the FBI's Pittsburgh office saying that an informant had told them the missing boy and potential kidnapping suspects were in an apartment on Ninth Avenue.

Homestead police contacted Allegheny County police, who brought out the SWAT team so that officers could search the apartment building. During their search, police found "blood evidence" and signs of a struggle, the chief said.

They also arrested a man wanted on a warrant for an unrelated crime.

While police were searching the apartment building, the 16-year-old boy was found elsewhere in Homestead, apparently having been beaten. He was transported to a local hospital, where he was undergoing surgery Thursday night.

"This is still an active investigation," Chief DeSimone said, emphasizing that police were still sorting through information given to them by people at the various scenes, many of whom said they did not witness what happened but were getting information from other people.

Chief DeSimone said officers questioned several people Thursday night but it was too early to tell what charges, if any, they might face.


Liz Navratil: lnavratil@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1438 or on Twitter @LizNavratil.


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