NEW STANTON, Pa.
A 14-year-old boy has been charged in the shooting deaths of his mother and 8-year-old brother, whose bodies were found Wednesday morning in their New Stanton home.
Jacob Remaley has been charged as an adult in the double homicide and faces two counts of criminal homicide and two counts of murder in the first-degree, according to web dockets that police sources verified.
Pennsylvania State Police officials identified the victims as 46-year-old Dana Remaley and her 8-year-old son, Caleb Remaley. Channel 11 News has learned that Caleb was a student in the third grade at Stanwood Elementary, and that Dana Remaley worked as a personal care assistant at West Hempfield Middle School.
School officials said grief counseling will be available for all students and staff in the Hempfield School District.
Westmoreland County's Office of the Coroner ruled the cause of both victim' deaths as a gunshot wound to the head and the manner as homicide. Dana Remaley and Caleb were found in their beds in separate rooms on Wednesday morning, authorities said.
Troopers said Thursday that Jacob Remaley called 911 and initially told dispatchers that his father had placed the gun in his bed. Police said shortly after the 911 call, a neighbor spotted the teen on the road with the gun and convinced him to toss it aside and wait for police to arrive.
Police also said Thursday that the teen confessed to the murders and told troopers he took the unloaded gun from the top of the refrigerator, loaded it and went into his mother's room first.
"That firearm wasn't loaded at the time. He went and got a magazine, loaded that firearm, walked into his mother’s room - and from a very short distance away, fired one round into her forehead, subsequently killing her, and then walked into his brother’s room and repeated the same act,” Trooper Steve Limani said.
Police said that Jacob Remaley also told troopers that if his father had been home, he would have shot him as well, according to court paperwork obtained by Channel 11 News.
Thermo Village Road was shut down for several hours Wednesday while investigators gathered evidence from the home where the victims were found.
Neighbors told Channel 11 News that they were asked by state police if they heard any gunshots Wednesday morning, but said they didn't hear anything.
"We were all completely in the dark and had no idea what was going on. I actually thought it was an accident, and the presence kept getting bigger," said Patrick Lacey, a neighbor. "When I was young, we helped babysit the son, but honestly, since they've grown up and I grew up, we haven't seen (them) too much. Just neighborly hellos."
Authorities said the investigation is continuing, and while a motive has yet to be determined, it appears that the teen had not been getting along with his parents.
Jacob Remaley was being treated and evaluated at a hospital Wednesday. Once he is arraigned, he will be moved to a juvenile detention center.
Meanwhile, dozens gathered Thursday evening at New Stanton Park to honor Dana and Caleb Remaley.
"We just don't understand. For people who knew the family.... They’re a good family. Hard working. They give so much back to the community,” said Anita Stoner, whose children went to school with Caleb and Jacob. “(Dana) had a big personality. If you called her in the middle of the night and said you needed Tylenol, she would run to the story and buy it for you.”
Channel 11 News also reached out to the Remaley’s paternal grandfather, who said, “This week has been very hard.” He said he never thought he would be attending a funeral for both his daughter-in-law and grandson.
Stay with Channel 11 News and WPXI.com for continuing coverage.
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