HEMPFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — Police now say a Greensburg man allegedly beat his elderly father to death before setting fire to his family home.
Walking her dog along Court View Drive in Hempfield Township, Linda Fisher observed, “You think everything’s quiet and everything’s good, but then things like this happen and you just really aren’t prepared for them.”
That was Fisher’s first reaction to the news that her neighbor Douglas Novak admitted to beating his 92-year-old father, Frank Novak, to death as well as setting his father’s home on fire to cover the killing up.
“There was no evidence that this person would have died from anything would be consistent with a fire,” State Trooper Stephen Limani said. “There were bruises, lacerations, broken bones.”
Investigators believe, with his father dead in an upstairs bedroom, the younger Novak lit multiple fires. Fisher, who called 911, headed to the burning structure.
“There was a man standing there. He looked at me and shut the door in my face,” Fisher said.
Fisher believes that man at the door was Douglas Novak.
Investigators believe Novak fled the home only to be captured by state troopers a short time later. The 40-year-old admitted to bludgeoning his father death because he couldn’t find his cell phone.
“For some reason, Douglas Novak believed that Frank Novak, his father, had either hidden his phone or taken his phone. He believed if he kept physically hurting his father that he was going to get this information,” Limani said.
“I’m sure the hammer of justice will be just as swift,” Fisher said.
Already facing multiple arson charges, Doug Novak remains in the Westmoreland County Jail. He now also faces criminal homicide charges.