Former Neighbor Wonders Why Suspect, Family Lived In Aspinwall

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Sean Andrew Duncan, 21, is scheduled to appear in a Federal Court in Virginia on Tuesday after his arrest late last week at his home in Sterling, Virginia.

Duncan lived in an apartment in the Borough of Aspinwall with his 36-year-old wife, Zakiya, and their newborn baby before they moved to Virginia.

Now, Duncan is facing federal charges involving his alleged ISIS connection.

“They were actually pleasant, but they didn’t go out of their way to talk to you. If you saw them in the hall, they would converse with you and so did she,” Joan Slomer, an Aspinwall neighbor, said of the couple.

Zakiya has not been charged in this criminal case.

Slomer lived downstairs from Duncan’s third-floor apartment until the couple moved this past summer just days after the death of their 4-month-old son.

The boy was taken to UPMC Children’s Hospital where he died, and in the course of investigating what may have happened to him, Allegheny County Police checked things out at Duncan’s apartment, including his cell phone.

“Actually, I was just coming home from playing cards and all the cars were here, and then I found out that they had taken the baby to the hospital in an ambulance and that the baby died,” Slomer said. “There were all kinds of police cars and investigative reporters and things here. And the FBI, there was an FBI truck.”

Last Friday, the FBI showed up at Duncan’s Sterling, Virginia, home and carried out boxes of potential evidence after charging him with obstruction of justice in a terrorism investigation.

According to court documents, one of Sean’s relatives reported that Duncan converted to Islam, may have been radicalized and voiced approval of Westerners being beheaded in the Middle East.

An FBI review of Duncan’s phone revealed numerous searches for ISIS released material, ISIS attacks, weapons, body armor, and defense tactics.

Back in Aspinwall, the Duncan’s former neighbor is left with lots of unanswered questions.

“What I wonder is, why was he here to begin with? Why did he come here to Pittsburgh and in this building? If they were planning something around here, perhaps?” Slomer said.