EAST FINLEY TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — An East Finley Township man has been arrested in connection with the death of an elderly woman who was found with multiple stab wounds overnight in her Washington County home.
The Washington County Coroner’s Office has identified the victim as 80-year-old Opal Bedillion.
She was pronounced dead just after 3:30 a.m. at her home on Templeton Run Road in Claysville, East Finley Township. She lived there alone.
The coroner’s office reports that Bedillion died of a knife wound. Family members found her inside of her home.
Bedillion’s relatives were sent to the home by police after officers found 23-year-old Frank Jones with a number of her possessions during a traffic stop.
State police say Jones was arrested after two South Strabane police officers stopped a suspicious vehicle.
Inside the vehicle, investigators say officers found a pillowcase full of jewelry and a prescription bottle, which contained pills that had the victim’s name and address on the label.
“The state police have charged Mr. Jones… with criminal homicide in causing the death of Opal Bedilllion of East Finley, Pa. Jones is also charged with robbery, theft, receiving stolen property, and aggravated assault,” said Washington County District Attorney Gene Vittone.
Authorities say they don’t think Bedillion knew Jones; however, they do believe that Jones knew that she lived alone.
Her relatives did not want to speak on camera, but KDKA’s Bob Allen reports that one of them said Bedillion had been on her own for a number of years after her husband died. Also, she had reportedly resisted numerous family attempts to get her to move from the isolated area where the nearest neighbor is about a mile away.
“It’s our belief that he knew she was elderly and she resided there alone and that’s why he targeted her,” said Lt. Christopher Neal, of the Pennsylvania State Police.
“I want to commend swift actions during the night and early this morning of the Pennsylvania State Police and South Strabane Police Department,” said Vittone. “A remarkable effort was put forth in the filing of these charges.”
Authorities say a passenger was in the vehicle with Jones, but has not been charged. Police say the investigation will continue.