Family, neighbors in shock after pair killed, baby left alone in home

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NORTH VANDERGRIFT, Pa. - For the first time, Channel 11 spoke to from the family of Heather Swiklinski, who was found shot to death Sunday along with Dawayne Klingensmith inside her Parks Township home, where their 17-month-old baby was found alive in his crib.

"She was a really great mom she did very much with her son, would have drawing sessions at the table with him,” said Ernie Bottles, Swiklinski’s uncle.

"I try to look at the positive things Heather’s tried to inspire in people by helping them along as much as she could and trying to bring out the best in people." 


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State police have had yellow crime scene tape surrounding the house Swiklinski recently bought all day Tuesday. 

Channel 11 has seen Investigators combing through evidence inside. We're told they're recreating the crime scene to figure out exactly how this double homicide happened.

“We are still in the early stages of reconstructing the actual crime scene itself as well as tracking down some leads that we are working on,” said Pennsylvania State Police Cmdr. Eric Hermick.

Pennsylvania State Police said they have leads, but did not provided further details. A reported break-in at the home two weeks ago is also drawing closer scrutiny.

As for the toddler, Swiklinski’s family says he's physically OK and with them; his grandfather found him and called police. Police believe he could have been left alone in his crib for hours.

“I think that can be determined in the amount of soil in the diaper and the conditions of the house, it was several hours,” said Hermick.

At this point, state police say there was more than one weapon used and police believe there could be more than one suspect, but no one was in custody as of Tuesday night.

“I don't want to alarm anyone, but there's somebody who's responsible for these two deaths that's out on the streets,” said Hermick.

Neighbors told Channel 11 there's a gun range nearby, so the sound of gunshots isn't unusual.

"We didn't hear any shots at all," said Daniel Porter. "Usually you hear shots coming up on top of the hill -- people that shoot up there -- but as far as a bang up there, no."

Swiklinski's uncle had a message for his niece's killer.

"Better get safe and turned in now because someone will find you and they will arrest you,” said Bottles.


 

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