Pa. police seek 20-year-old suspect in Derry Township homicide
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State police in Greensburg used surveillance video from an Indiana County Walmart to help identify the suspected triggerman in a botched robbery that left one man dead and four people facing charges.
Troopers were searching late Wednesday for Ronnell Moses, 20, who faces charges of homicide, kidnapping, a firearms violation and terroristic threats in connection with the shooting death of Michael Volk, 24, inside a Derry Township trailer on Dec. 29. They said he was "armed and dangerous."
In a criminal complaint filed Wednesday, police said four people -- including the dead man -- had planned to rob a drug dealer they did not know, only to have the dealer fire the fatal shot. It was a trip to Walmart, though, that led police to the suspect.
Investigators wrote in the criminal complaint that Jesus Santiago, 42, received a call on Dec. 28 from a man telling him that a man named "Mitch" would be staying at his place and selling drugs.
Troopers wrote in the complaint that Mr. Volk, Mr. Santiago and their girlfriends, Danielle Clawson, 23, and Tiffany Blattenberger, 22, hatched a plan to rob "Mitch." They said Ms. Clawson drove Mr. Volk to a trailer on Stone Quarry Road.
Mr. Volk went inside. Ms. Blattenberger hopped in the car and the women returned 20 minutes later, when Mr. Santiago told them that "Mitch" had shot Mr. Volk, police said.
Troopers wrote that "Mitch" showed a silver handgun and threatened to "shoot everyone in the residence if they wouldn't calm down." They said he called someone who was in the Indiana, Pa., area and asked to be picked up.
Troopers later learned that Mr. Volk and "Mitch" had gone to the Walmart in Blairsville the night before the botched robbery. Surveillance footage from the store was sent to local police departments, which helped them identify the suspect, according to the complaint. Troopers then asked the women to look at photo arrays of potential suspects as both identified Mr. Moses as "Mitch," according to the complaint.
Mr. Santiago, Ms. Blattenberger and Ms. Clawson were arrested Sunday on charges of conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and conspiracy to commit robbery. All three are being held in the Westmoreland County Prison without bail.
State police are asking anyone with information about Mr. Moses' whereabouts to call them at 724-832-3288.
First Published January 3, 2013 12:00 am