WHITEHALL (KDKA) — An Allegheny County Sheriff’s deputy was flagged down late Wednesday afternoon by a female motorist in the South Hills who was concerned because she had seen a dark van that was being driven erratically.
The deputy sheriff followed the van as it turned onto Plymouth Road, a quiet, residential dead-end street off Baptist Road.
County Deputy Sheriff S. Jason Tarap told KDKA-TV’s Ralph Iannotti, “The vehicle comes to a stop at the dead end. Obviously, I got out of the vehicle and approached the driver to see if he possibly had a medical condition, or was lost. Upon questioning the driver, he seemed to be disoriented. Upon further questioning, it was found there was a deceased female inside the vehicle.”
Sources said the woman was naked. Her body was found near the rear door of the van.
The driver, described as incoherent, was checked out by medical personnel at the scene, and then taken to the Whitehall Police Station for questioning.
The deputy sheriff commended the driver who flagged him down.
“I have to give my hat off to the young lady that she was able… she came out of her shell to contact law enforcement just by flagging an officer down and telling us about what she saw,” Deputy Tarap said.
Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Kevin Kraus released a statement saying:
“This appears to be another example of the ravages of the current opioid epidemic. It was indeed fortunate that Deputy Tarap acted responsibly, and was able to prevent the incident from becoming even more tragic.”
The Allegheny County Medical Examiner and Whitehall Borough Police are investigating.