PA PA- ''Stephanie Coyle, 74, Throat cut, Raped and Molested after death & Design carved into her back, July 1993


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Oct 21, 2009
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2011 rbbm.
''PITTSBURGH,None — It was a shocking crime in a quiet neighborhood. An elderly woman found brutally stabbed to death with a strange carving on her back. 18 years later the killer is still out there.

''The case continues to baffle investigators. Police don't believe anything was taken and to this day they don't know the motive for the horrific crime.

Forensic Pathologist Dr. Cyril Wecht performed the autopsy. He told Target 11 Investigator Rick Earle that he's done thousands of autopsies and this is one of the most brutal he's ever seen.

Stephanie Coyle was found on the floor or her bedroom in her Arnold apartment in July of 1993. After she failed to show for her volunteer job, her landlord went to check on her and discovered her body.

"This is truly one of the most brutal killings I've ever experienced in my role as a forensic pathologist," Wecht said.

On the victim's back, Wecht discovered a strange carving that he suspects was done with a knife after Coyle had been killed.

"It suggests some kind of symbol. This was the final message. It could even be some kind of initiation ritual," said Wecht.

Investigators won't release any photos of the carving, but according to Wecht it was an oval about 21 inches by 14 inches with a vertical line 25 inches long through the middle of the circle. The carving was about a quarter inch deep.

"It's still hard to believe that somebody can do that to anybody..., and here it is my own mother," said Dan Coyle, the victim's son.

Dan Coyle told Target 11 that his mother was retired and widowed. She spent her days volunteering at the New Kensington Senior Citizens Center. During the night she enjoyed bowling or bingo.

"We went through our minds hundreds of times. Just trying to see if she has any enemies. We couldn't come up with anyone. The big question is why? We still don't have than answer after all these years," Dan Coyle said.''

Weber said the victim's DNA has been entered into the national database, but there have been no matches.

As for that symbol carved on her back, Weber said that even FBI profilers who examined photos of the marking and reviewed the case file had trouble making sense of it.

"We have not been able to characterize it to any one group," Weber said.

Wecht also said there's a possibility that the killer was startled and never finished the message.

Investigators also said there's the possibility that the killer may have been trying to throw off investigators by making it look like something it was not.''

''Stephanie Coyle, 74, was killed in her Arnold home 29 years ago, and her son and his wife have not stopped searching for answers. Her body was found in her tucked-away apartment along an alley behind Fourth Avenue. Police said her throat had been cut and she had been raped and molested after her death. A design was carved into her back.

The couple from Buffalo Township, Butler County, contacted the television show “Unsolved Mysteries” and hired a private detective.

“I’ll never let anybody forget about it — I don’t care if it’s 50 years,” Dan Coyle said.

He expected a quick arrest after the stunning phone call with news of his mother’s homicide during a work golf outing on July 16, 1993.

“Of course, you figure a few more days, you’ll find this guy real quick,” he said. “You just expected them to call you and say they got the person.”

Some of the posters family members put up a few years ago looking for information remain on utility poles around town.

“I still drive through Arnold every once in a while,” Dan Coyle said. “I don’t know why.”

''The Coyles and Dutchko expressed frustration with their respective cases and working with police and prosecutors.

“What’s so upsetting is the investigation and how we’re treated that bugs me more,” Dan Coyle said.

Ziccarelli said addressing the county’s unsolved homicides is a priority. Investigators have been making progress in a few cases, she said, but she understands the heartbreak for many loved ones.

“When I talk to some of these family members … they’ve never been able to have peace,” she said.

It is important to limit information released about unsolved homicide cases, which she knows can prompt frustration, but sometimes “extreme patience” is needed while pieces of the puzzle come together.

“You have to make sure you have what it takes to prosecute these cases,” Ziccarelli said.''


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Sep 15, 2009
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Thank you for bringing this here, fred&edna and dotr. What a sad, awful case. Maybe WS can give it some traction.

Det Ken Mains's analysis of this case on Youtube is disturbing but fascinating.


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Oct 21, 2009
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  • Stephanie Coyle, aged 74, was killed on July 16, 1993 in her home of Arnold, Pennsylvania
  • She was raped, her throat had been slit, she was stabbed a dozen times, a design was carved in her back and her nude body was molested
  • The brutal murder rattled the small community
  • Her son Dan has worked tirelessly to find her killer, and he has provided information to the SCCC
  • In 2013, the Coyle family issued a $90,000 reward for information, but it was never claimed ''
Aside from the Rocknick case, the group has also taken on the mysterious murder of Stephanie Coyle, a 74-year-old woman who was killed in her Arnold, Pennsylvania garage apartment in 1993. Her son Dan, who once issued a $90,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of her killer, is seen hammering a notice of the reward to a telephone pole


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Sep 14, 2004
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30 years ago...


Stephanie Coyle, age 74, Murdered 16 July 1993

The Arnold Police Department, Westmoreland County District Attorney's Detectives, and the Pennsylvania State Police, continues the investigation of the homicide of Stephanie Coyle.

On July 16, 1993, the Arnold Police Department was dispatched to the residence located on 4th Avenue, City of Arnold, to assist with a deceased 76 year old female. Upon arrival the officer found Stephanie Coyle on her bedroom floor. Stephanie Coyle was a widow who lived alone and had been stabbed numerous times in the neck area. Stephanie Coyle was a very dedicated volunteer for the senior citizen center and had not showed up for service on that morning. The staff notified her landlord that lived in the front house on the property and he had found her and called for the ambulance.

This is a very active "COLD CASE HOMICIDE"

WHAT YOU CAN DO: If you have information on this crime, any serious crime, or wanted person, call Pennsylvania Crime Stoppers Toll Free at 1-800-4PA-TIPS. All callers remain anonymous and could be eligible for a CASH REWARD.
All information is accurate as of Release Date.