2 Fayette County men accused in dumping woman's body in Youghiogheny River held for trial

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Two Fayette County men accused of strangling a Connellsville woman then dumping her body in the Youghiogheny River in June were ordered today to stand trial.

Connellsville District Judge Ronald Haggerty Jr. held Paul J. Bannasch, of Uniontown, and Craig A. Rugg, of Connellsville, both 24, for court this morning after a preliminary hearing.

Their charges include criminal homicide, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and misdemeanor abuse of a corpse, unlawful restraint and criminal conspiracy in the June 22 death of Margaret Kriek.

Pennsylvania State Police said the pair sexually assaulted Ms. Kriek, 52, and strangled her near Water Street in Connellsville just after midnight. A Westmoreland County Boy Scout troop found her body during a camping trip.

Neither defendant's attorney -- Frank Walker II representing Rugg, Jeffrey Whiteko representing Mr. Paul -- immediately returned calls seeking comment.

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Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1944 and on Twitter: @borntolede.


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