Police search doctor's Ligonier home after death of woman, 25

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Westmoreland County investigators probing the suspicious death of a 25-year-old Southwest Greensburg woman executed a search warrant at a doctor's home where her body was discovered last Friday.

William J. Monsour II, 57, of Ligonier Township told police he discovered Mia Vottero lifeless in his bed Friday morning after the two had been out to a bar and had slept together. An autopsy was performed Saturday, but the Westmoreland County coroner's office said results were pending the outcome of further tests.

In an affidavit for a search warrant filed Sunday, Ligonier Township police Officer Robert James Shapiro asked for permission to seize the woman's clothing and purse and any medication found inside the home, in addition to any furniture that may contain bodily fluids. Officer Shapiro said it appeared that Vottero died of a drug overdose, but authorities are investigating where the drugs came from. They suggested on the application that they were looking for evidence of a homicide.

But Westmoreland County District Attorney John Peck, whose detectives are also looking into the case, said the investigation "does not imply any criminality."

"The death is unexplained, so that in and of itself would warrant an investigation," he said.

According to the police affidavit, Dr. Monsour told police he met Ms. Vottero about three weeks before her death. He picked her up Thursday evening and took her to a bar, The Wicked Googly, where the doctor was playing drums. The two returned to his home around 1 a.m., where they had sex and fell asleep.

The doctor said he got up Friday to find her on her stomach and thought she was sleeping. When he returned to the room, he could not rouse her, and noticed she was pale and had foam in her nose. He unsuccessfully attempted to revive her and called police.

Police said they noticed Ms. Vottero, who was naked, had been moved from the right to the left side of the bed and that her body had been covered with a neatly folded sheet and a comforter. Her clothing was found at the foot of the bed. In her purse, police found two bottles of zolpidem, a generic form of the sleeping pill Ambien, and clonazepam, an anti-anxiety and anti-seizure drug. One bottle was empty, and the others contained just a few pills each even though the prescriptions had been recently filled. But they found no blood thinners, which Vottero was required to take for a medical condition.

Ligonier Township police referred inquiries about what authorities discovered in the home to Chief Michael Matrunics, who was not available for comment late Tuesday.

Dr. Monsour, whose family started the embattled Monsour Medical Center in Jeannette that shut down in 2006, could not be reached for comment.

neigh_westmoreland

Moriah Balingit: mbalingit@post-gazette.com, 412-263-2533 or on Twitter @MoriahBee.


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