Daughter accused of conspiracy, 2 others charged in shooting death of Westmoreland County woman

ST. CLAIR TOWNSHIP, Pa. — Three people were arrested in connection to a missing woman who was found dead Thursday at her home in St. Clair Township.

RELATED COVERAGE >>> Missing woman, 71, found dead in St. Clair Township

Westmoreland County District Attorney Nicole Ziccarelli announced charges for Matthew Bates, 18, Robert Jack, 18, and Melissa Beacom, 49, Sunday morning. She said Bates and Jack are charged with criminal homicide, while Beacom is charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit criminal homicide and criminal solicitation.

Zicarelli says Alice Robson, 71, went missing on Monday, and police were notified of her disappearance after home health care workers found her grandson alone without supervision, despite his need for 24-hour care.

On Thursday, police and the Greensburg Fire Department bloodhound team went to Robson’s home on Furnace Lane to search for her. Zicarelli said the bloodhounds led authorities to Robson’s body, which was in an unfinished crawl space beneath a porch, concealed by a panel and covered in debris,

Zicarelli said Robson’s autopsy revealed she had two gunshot wounds to her head. A search warrant at the home found blood stains in her living room.

In an interview with police, Bates, who Zicarelli says is the boyfriend of Robson’s granddaughter, reportedly said he was brought to Robson’s house by Beacom Monday to work on a vehicle. Authorities allege he said Robson and Beacom have a “tumultuous relationship” because of the custody of Robson’s grandson and claims he’s been asked to kill Robson on “multiple occasions.”

Neighbors said Robson was a sweet, kind woman who didn’t deserve this.

They told Channel 11 off-camera that the mother and daughter would often fight with each other because Robson had custody of Beacom’s two kids. Neighbors also said they’re not surprised by Beacom’s alleged plot to kill her mother.

Bates claims that after he and Beacom met with Jack later in the night, she asked for them to kill Robson that evening, Zicarelli says.

Detectives were reportedly told Bates and Jack shot Robson twice in the head before moving her body to the crawlspace and cleaning inside the home.

One of Robson’s coworkers, who asked not to be named, said she went over to Robson’s house to help decorate her tree two days before she was killed.

“She made the bows for her tree that we decorated together, and they were beautiful,” she said. “She was a special person who was loved by many and did so much for others. She had owned a restaurant and flower shop in her younger years. That is something nice that I hope people will remember about her.”

Bates, Beacom and Jack were arraigned Saturday and denied bail. They were taken to the Westmoreland County Prison to await preliminary hearings.

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