Monday, September 27, 2010

Third murder-suicide victim passes away

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EAST LIVERPOOL - The survivor of a shooting early Wednesday on Avondale Street has died, a coroner's investigator has confirmed.
Brian Fullum, a forensic investigator with the Columbiana County Coroner's office, said Rachael Wilcox, 22, died Sunday evening. Allegheny County will perform an autopsy.
Family members had previously said Wilcox had been improving. Fullum said checks he had made the past few days confirmed the same.
Fullum said Sunday he doesn't know what happened that caused Wilcox's condition to deteriorate, but said, "It's sad. Everyone's thoughts and prayers go out to the family. That's about all you can say."
East Liverpool police were called to 1126 Avondale St. at 2:38 a.m. Wednesday by a witness who placed a 911 call. Officers arrived at the two-story duplex to find two dead and Wilcox inside the front door of her mother's home, shot but still alive. She was flown to a Pittsburgh hospital.
Police found Andrea Foster, 22 of Salem, dead on the porch from a gunshot wound, and 25-year-old Liberty resident Steven J. Youngblood lying in the street about a block away, dead from an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
When Fullum arrived on the scene, he and officers recovered the handgun likely used in the shooting underneath Youngblood's body.
Fullum said Sunday he doesn't know how long it will take for Allegheny County to complete an autopsy, but when the reports are completed, the coroner's office and police will have autopsy reports on all three victims to augment the investigation.
Preliminary investigations indicated the triple-shooting was a murder-suicide, East Liverpool police detectives said. Acting Chief Terry Faulkner said Youngblood was Wilcox's estranged boyfriend, and they had a confrontation on the front porch of the residence. Foster was Wilcox's friend and attempted to intervene when she was shot and killed. Wilcox then turned to run into the house and was shot as she entered the doorway, in front of her 14-year-old brother, who had been sleeping on a couch, officers reported.
Youngblood reportedly then ran from the house down Avondale for a block, where he shot himself, falling to the ground where another street intersects Avondale.
Fullum said it will take about four to six months for results to be known of the autopsies on Foster and Youngblood. Although Fullum previously said the case is "pretty cut and dried," he noted the autopsy on Wilcox is necessary because his office and law enforcement want the investigation to be as complete as possible.
"We don't want to leave any stone unturned," Fullum said. "Our goal is to have a complete and thorough investigation."

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