Buzz in Minnesota town: Who's the cold-case suspect?

Pennsylvania cold case man arrested presser bts_00003702
Pennsylvania cold case man arrested presser bts_00003702


    Man arrested in 25-year-old cold case


Man arrested in 25-year-old cold case 02:24

Story highlights

  • Charges have filed in '91 death of a Pennsylvania woman
  • The suspect is from Magnolia, Minnesota

(CNN)Mary Smook said she heard the news at work: A killer might be in her small town of Magnolia, Minnesota, a place whose population could pack a jetliner.

Pennsylvania authorities on Tuesday announced they had filed charges in the death of an elderly woman whose body was found in her Indiana County, Pennsylvania home 25 years ago.
    The suspect in custody is a 61-year-old Magnolia man, the Rock County, Minnesota Sheriff's Office said.
    But his name and details of the cold case are expected to be revealed on Friday at a press conference in Indiana County, Pennsylvania.
    "We have no idea who it could be," Smook, a councilwoman in the town of more than 200 people, told CNN late Tuesday. "I've lived here for 40 years and I don't know anybody who could be a killer."
    She's hearing the suspect could be around her husband's age.
    "We're kind of curious to see if it's someone who might have gone to school with him," Smook said.
    In a brief three-sentence press release announcing the charges, Indiana County District Attorney Patrick Dougherty said no additional information will be given before the press conference at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
    The Rock County Sheriff's Office said the suspect faces criminal homicide charges.
    It was not immediately clear what led police to the suspect.

    Killed in 1991

    A quarter-century ago, someone fired two shots through a window that killed Myrtle Louise McGill, 76, authorities said. She had been dead for a week when her body was found on the kitchen floor of her White Township home in Indiana County on Dec. 13, 1991, KDKA, a CNN affiliate in Pittsburgh reported.
    Her sliding glass door had been smashed by a rock, but the house had not been ransacked, KDKA reported.
    "We did notice multiple gunshot holes through the front windows of the house, so the perpetrator apparently was in the front area of the house and saw the victim apparently in the kitchen," said Tom Streams, the Indiana County coroner in 1991, KDKA reported.
    Only McGill's car, a 1982 Ford LTD, was stolen. It was located four days before McGill's body was found, parked near a Greyhound bus station in downtown Pittsburgh.
    Investigators found no clues or usable fingerprints from the car and no witnesses, according to KDKA.
    In Magnolia, not everyone is talking about the mystery.
    "I actually have not heard anything from anybody around town," Magnolia Councilman Robert V. Somnis, 44, told CNN last Tuesday.
    Somnis said most of the inquires he has received have come from the media. It's a lot more attention than the small town with charm is used to. Magnolia is located 200 miles southwest of Minneapolis,

    Speculation in Magnolia

    Corn and beans are the popular crops in Magnolia. Farmers and regulars gather at a local cafe in the mornings for breakfast. And the council meets once a month and reviews bills.
    "We just go through any day-to-day business with the town," said Somnis, a 20-year resident. "It's a small town, so there ain't much we need to do,"
    Smook, who has lived in Magnolia for as long as Somnis has been alive, speculates the suspect might be someone who lives in the county and might have a mailing address in Magnolia.
    Either way, she's not waiting until Friday to find out.
    "I'll maybe go up to the cafe tomorrow and get the scoop," Smook said. "I'm sure they'll be talking about it."