PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s been three months since Dehnad Taiedi, 78, also known as “Danny” and “Chief” was killed. He was found inside the office of Jefferson Hills Motel on May 27.
“I miss him a lot. He was like a father to me,” manager of Jefferson Hills Motel Nicole Stercula said.
Nicole Stercula had worked alongside Taiedi for nine years.
“He was the only person I had to go to for anything. We would sit out here late at night and have late night conversations. Talk about life, his life,” Stercula said.
Investigators now believe they’ve caught a break in the case. On Friday, Allegheny County Police used DNA to trace Derrick “Chino” Gallaway, 60, to the state of California. They’ve filed a search warrant for the man. However, folks who work at Jefferson Hills Motel believe Gallaway’s in the Pittsburgh area.
Stercula says she used to see him around the motel. His last sighting was a year prior to Taiedi’s death.
“All I know is he came in. He paid. I know he and Chief got into an argument before but other than that, over some girl,” Stercula said.
Then, on the afternoon of May 27, Taiedi was found lying in the office covered in blood. Investigators saw a hole in the wall just above where Taiedi was found. It appears there was some sort of struggle. Police believe a robbery was the motive for his death.
“I hope they find this person and bring him to justice,” Taiedi’s step-daughter Carrie Simpson said.
Taiedi’s step-daughter Carrie Simpson is grateful for this new development in the case.
“It’s a good day for us. It will be better when he’s in court and when he has to answer to what he did,” Simpson said.
“I would hope that he would turn himself in. I mean you’re already caught you already did it. Just turn yourself in,” Stercula said.
Family and friends are still offering a $5,000 reward for the arrest and conviction of the person responsible for Taiedi’s death.
Gallaway faces multiple charges including criminal homicide, robbery and theft.