GREENSBURG (KDKA) – A man accused of stealing and drinking more than $100,000 worth of vintage whiskey has been held for court.
John Saunders, 62, of Irwin, is charged with consuming 52 bottles of Old Farm Pure Rye Whisky.
Police said nine cases were hidden in the walls of a bed and breakfast in Scottdale.
In 1986, Pat Hill purchased a turn-of-the-20th-century mansion on South Broadway. A painter found the whiskey during a renovation project.
The whiskey was distilled in 1913 and bottled in 1917 at the West Overton Distillery, which was then owned by Henry Clay Frick.
The nine cases, a dozen sealed bottles in each, were stored in Saunders’ basement apartment. Last year, Hill found that half of the whiskey bottles were empty.
Hill told KDKA-TV by phone that she “is just sick about it.” That when she “asked Saunders what happened,” he answered, “Oh, it must have evaporated.”
Lab results later matched Saunders’ DNA with saliva on three of the empty bottles.