SCHUYLKILL COUNTY—People living in one part of Schuylkill County are still reeling after two people were killed just a few miles apart this week.
In the course of just two days, investigators said two people were killed in one part of Schuylkill County.
Monday, David Halaburda, 50, was found beaten to death in his home in West Mahanoy Township near Frackville.
Just a few miles away on Tuesday, Wendy Contreras, 39, was discovered lifeless in a house in Shenandoah.
According to court papers, her neck was cut.
“Generally it is quiet here but not lately,” said Mary Wickhizer of Girardville.
Wickhizer and others gathered at The Famous Dutch Kitchen Restaurant in Frackville Wednesday, talking about the recent violence.
“In Frackville, you usually don’t get a lot of stuff like that and then for it to happen two towns right next to each other, you just don’t know what’s going on with the world,” said waitress Mariah Sands of West Mahanoy Township.
There was a third homicide in Schuylkill County this year in the same area.
In January, Joseph Boris, 60, was shot to death in West Mahanoy Township, in an area known as Shenandoah Heights.
His neighbor was charged with homicide.
All three homicides this year happened within 6 miles of each other.
When Joyce Gallagher of Frackville heard about the latest homicide, she called her son who lives in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
“He said, ‘Oh that happens here all the time, ‘and I said, ‘I know, there it happens all the time. Here it doesn’t.’ So we were surprised.”
Investigators have said these homicides were not acts of random violence. In each case, they said the suspected killer knew the victim. Still, people said the killings scare them.
“Yes, it does. It makes me want to move down, yeah. I want to go down to Pottstown. I don’t like it up here right now,” said Wickhizer.
In addition to those homicides, the Schuylkill County coroner said earlier this year an elderly man got into a fight with another at a facility near Orwigsburg. The other man died of a heart attack and the coroner said it was rule death caused by another person.