Neighbor of Slain Sisters of Iowa Lawmaker Turns Himself in After Authorities Charge Him with Murder in the Brutal Deaths of the Two Women
Daily Mail (London), March 5, 2014
A man charged with robbing and killing two sisters of an Iowa state lawmaker turned himself in to Pittsburgh police Wednesday after professing his innocence on Facebook and claiming he had been framed.
Allen Darell Wade, 43, was wanted on charges including criminal homicide, robbery, theft and a firearms violation in the slayings of Susan Wolfe and Sarah Wolfe, his former neighbors.
The two sisters of Democratic Rep. Mary Wolfe, of Clinton, Iowa, were found dead Feb. 7 after police were called to their residence when they didn’t show up for work. Both women were found in the basement of the home they shared; each was shot once in the head, police said.
Sarah Wolfe, 38, was a psychiatrist for the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Susan Wolfe, 44, was a teacher’s aide at Hillel Academy in the city’s Squirrel Hill neighborhood.
Wade was questioned by police late last month but released. He denied wrongdoing at the time.
Lt. Kevin Kraus said Wade had since vacated the home next door to the Wolfes’ residence and police were searching for him Wednesday before he turned himself in. They provided no other details on his surrender, though Kraus said police were alerted to Wade’s plans by monitoring his Facebook page.
On it, Wade professed his innocence, writing, ‘I would like for the world to know I am 100 percent innocent I would never ever in any way Hurt a person so brutally it is not in my nature I have always respected women and will always continue to do so I am being framed to take the fall for this case and hopefully justice will prevail!’
In a statement, the Iowa lawmaker said she was grateful for the Pittsburgh Police Department’s efforts.
‘I’m extremely appreciative of the hard work and dedication of the Pittsburgh law enforcement community and of the unwavering support my family and I have received,’ she said.
In a criminal complaint, authorities suggested Wade attacked Susan Wolfe when she was home alone, based on surveillance video from a transit bus Susan Wolfe rode home, other video from Sarah Wolfe’s employer and home alarm records that enabled detectives to reconstruct some of the sister’s movements the night before they were found dead.
Susan Wolfe’s body was found naked and doused with bleach and liquid detergent. Sarah Wolfe was likely killed when she returned home from work later that night, the video and alarm records suggest. She was found clothed but with a blanket over her head. Her purse had been emptied.
Police said items belonging to the sisters — identification cards, credit and bank cards, keys and cellphones — were missing. Police haven’t commented on a motive for the killings.
Police also used surveillance video to track Wade’s whereabouts after the slayings.
Police said Wade’s DNA was found on sweatpants a man was seen removing from behind a muffler shop about 1 a.m. Feb. 7. Police also found DNA from a male and a female under Susan Wolfe’s fingernails, and lab tests determined Wade couldn’t be excluded ‘as a contributor to this mixture.’
Other surveillance video showed Wade throwing something in a garbage can, where detectives found a pen with ‘Iowa’ on it, police said. Federal firearms records show Wade has bought eight handguns since 1997, but they can’t account for three of the weapons. Police haven’t discussed the type of gun used to kill the sisters.
On Thursday February 6, Susan went to work at the Hillel Academy at the normal time – about 7:25 a.m. – and left about 5 p.m., apologizing that she couldn’t stay late because she had an appointment at 5:30.
‘[Susan always went to work] eager to start the day, greeted the children at the door, read them books while waiting for other children to arrive . . . Her smile was infectious. She approached every day with optimism,’ Dori Oshlag, the director of the center, said.
On Friday, when Susan didn’t show up for work, Oshlag got nervous and began calling her house about 8:20 a.m. but got no answer. Text messages and emails also went unanswered.
‘And by noon, myself and the staff and administration realized we had to make a difficult call to ask for help. The rest is history,’ she said.
By noon, Oshlag and other friends who’d noticed the women were missing, started calling police. Authorities performed a wellness check just after 1 p.m. and found the bodies.
Each sister was pronounced dead at 1:48 p.m. Friday.
Each of the sisters had an excellent reputation amongst those who knew them best.
Sarah Wolfe’s boyfriend, Matthew Bucholz, posted a note on Facebook describing his deceased girlfriend as a ‘beautiful, brilliant funny woman who worked as a children’s psychiatrist and was an old school riot “grrrl.”. . .This whole thing is unimaginably sad.’
Her former landlord described her as a dream tenant who often put her February rent in Valentines Day cards, and who baked cakes and brought them over to her house for no special reason.
‘We were just so happy to have her,’ former landlord Kelly Carter told the paper. ‘She turned out to be a model tenant and a model neighbor and friend.’
In November, Wolfe left her rental property and purchased the house on Chislett Street–where she and her sister were both found dead.
Shortly after moving in, Wolfe’s house was burglarized, according to Carter, whom she asked for help fixing a broken window. Carter says she advised her to get a burglar alarm, although it’s unclear whether she did.
Wade remained in police custody, awaiting arraignment Wednesday afternoon. Under Pennsylvania law, he cannot be released on bond because he’s charged with homicide.