Two charged after Boy Scout troop finds woman's body in Youghiogheny River

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Pennsylvania State Police in Uniontown have charged two men in the death of a Fayette County woman whose body was discovered Saturday morning in the Youghiogheny River.

A Boy Scout troop from Larimer found a nude body, later identified as Margaret G. Kriek, 52, of Connellsville, partially submerged in the middle of the river, state police said.

Paul J. Bannasch, of Uniontown, and Craig A. Rugg, of Connellsville, both 24, are in the Fayette County Jail on charges of felony criminal homicide, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault and misdemeanor abuse of a corpse, unlawful restraint and criminal conspiracy.

State police said two men killed Ms. Kriek in a grassy lot near Water Street in Connellsville just after midnight on Saturday.

Fayette County deputy coroner Jim Bittner said an autopsy was performed Sunday on Ms. Kriek, but said the cause and manner of her death would not be announced pending its findings and the results of toxicology tests.

According to a state police criminal complaint, the cause of death was listed as strangulation.

Ms. Kriek's sister, Barbara Leonard, last saw her alive about 9:30 p.m. Friday, when she drove her to her apartment.

Several people reported seeing Mr. Bannasch and Rugg drinking inside Sidewinders bar in Connellsville about 11:30 p.m. Friday. Bar patrons said they saw the two walking on Water Street near the Amtrak station with Ms. Kriek about 12:19 a.m., state police said.

Mr. Bannasch asked the bar customers in the parking lot if they knew where Ms. Kriek lived.

The patrons offered to alert bar security, but Mr. Bannasch told them not to, and said if they "see him on any files or on a wanted sign to say that they didn't see him or didn't know him," state police wrote in the complaint.

Ms. Kriek's clothing was found in a grass and gravel field at the Amtrak station.

State police said drag marks and blood spatter patterns were seen from the lot to the river.

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First Published June 23, 2013 8:30 PM


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