• Missing woman found dead, man charged in her death

    Updated:

    DRAVOSBURG, Pa. - The skeletal remains of a missing woman were found Wednesday morning and a man is now facing homicide charges.

    Heather Short, 46, disappeared Nov. 10, 2018. She leaves behind three children.

    Heather Short (Photo submitted by McKeesport Police Department)
    Heather Short (Photo submitted by McKeesport Police Department)

    Detectives identified Dale Cooper, 36, as the person responsible for Short's death.  

    Cooper told investigators he and Short were doing drugs together at a home in West Mifflin on Nov. 7 and when he woke up, Short was gone, detectives said.   

    >>PREVIOUS STORY: Police ask for public's help in finding missing woman 

    According to the criminal complaint, a witness told investigators that Cooper allegedly murdered Short by strangling her with an extension cord inside the West Mifflin home. The witness told investigators Cooper put her clothes into a piece of plastic and doused her with bleach.  

    According to the complaint, Cooper loaded her body into a vehicle and then dumped it in a wooded area along Scott Haven Road in Sewickley Township, Westmoreland County.

    If you want to receive BREAKING ALERTS, please download our WPXI News App.  You can also follow WPXI on Facebook and Twitter

    Cooper allegedly told witnesses he had to kill her because he was afraid she was going to tell a drug dealer that he had robbed the dealer of drugs and cash. 

    Cooper is being held in the Allegheny County Jail.


    TRENDING NOW:


    “I’m very upset with all of this and he needs to rot in jail," said Valerie Graham, Short's mother. “It’s prayers answered. It’s finally going to have an end eventually.”

    Graham said Short has known Cooper for years and she turned to street drugs after she suffered from serious health and medical problems since she was a child.

    “I wasn’t surprised, I know he’s a very evil person. And I hope he really gets what he deserves,” Graham said. “She would end up turning to street drugs in between her prescription medications, and that’s how she came (to be) involved with the people she got involved with.”

    “She was much more than someone who chose to do drugs and I want people to understand the relationship with drugs and families. I hope her life serves as an example if nothing else,” Graham said.


     

    Next Up: