DA’s office asking for public’s help in investigation of 9-year-old boy’s death in New Kensington

NEW KENSINGTON, Pa. — Details remain limited in the death of a 9-year-old boy found behind his house in New Kensington on Wednesday.

The coroner’s office said that the death is being investigated as a homicide.

On Thursday, The district attorney’s office set up a command post in the same neighborhood. They are asking the public and members of the community to share home video surveillance and come forward with any information that may be useful to the investigation. Officers can be reached at 724-339-7533.

“Just to hear something like this happen, so fast, it just breaks my heart. It feels like it happened to me. The kid was like one of my kids,” Osie Taylor said.

The emotions are raw among neighbors in East Ken Manor in New Kensington.

Taylor made the gruesome discovery Wednesday morning after the boy did not show up for the bus stop.

“When I come in behind my shed, I could see my chair flipped over. When I got closer, I saw the feet hanging out from underneath the chair. It was something you don’t want to see,” Taylor said.

Neighbors told us the boy just recovered from cancer last year.

He was friendly and well-mannered, and an elementary student at New Kensington-Arnold School District.

“You would’ve never thought that him out here playing so jovial, you would’ve never knew that little boy was laying up there fighting for his life, for him to come back so full of life,” Gina Pace said.

Investigators have not detailed how he died, but the district attorney said a collaborative effort between New Kensington Police and county detectives are working every angle of this investigation.

“To our community at large — hold your children near. They are our most precious gifts. We will not rest until we determine what or who caused this child’s death,” Nicole Ziccarelli said.

The school district is making grief counselors available for students at school if they need it.