PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The district attorney announced a significant development in the 2013 murder of a Mercer County businessman.
According to investigators, Frank Crash was found with 70 stab wounds inside of his Mercer Road home in Hempfield Township back in July of 2013.
Today, Mercer County District Attorney Robert G. Kochems announced an arrest warrant had been issued for 33-year-old Tracy Hassel. The alleged motive in the crime was to obtain money to get her boyfriend out of jail.
Hassel was previously a person of interest in the case. She is already serving a minimum sentence of four years for burglary in the State Correctional Facility for Women in Muncy.
Hassel will be now be charged with second and third-degree murder, robbery, burglary and theft.
If convicted on the second-degree murder charge, she could face life in prison.
This past January, Hassel was interviewed by police and a DNA sample was taken.
In March, Hassel told police she knew Crash through a friend. The friend claimed they dated Crash and stole money from him frequently. Hassel also said the friend told her where Crash kept his money.
According to the criminal complaint, Hassel’s boyfriend Steve Mortland was locked up at the Allegheny County Jail and neither of them could afford bail.
Hassel allegedly drove Mortland to the judge’s office, where he pleaded guilty. The couple did not have enough money for bond and he was placed in jail. At that time, he said Hassel went to Mercer County to get the money.
Later, Hassel picked him up and said she had stabbed someone.
According to the criminal complaint, he said “Hassel had a bag of clothing that she pointed to and stated, ‘That’s the stuff I wore when I stabbed someone.’”
Mortland admitted to helping Hassel dispose of the bag in Pittsburgh. He also said she later admitted to stabbing Crash.
Later, Mortland led police to the area of Sycamore Street in Pittsburgh, where they found the bag, which contained women’s clothing, gloves and a black wig.
DNA tests later linked Hassel to the scene.
Previously, the D.A. said a male person of interest in the case had left the state for the East Coast.
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