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After Standoff and Fire, Searching for Sister Angela in Scranton

SCRANTON, Pa. -- The search is on for Sister Angela Miller.

The nun's body is believed to be in the rubble of a property on Washburn Street in Scranton.

Friends say she lived on one side of the duplex, her sister and nephew on the other.

"I think it's just a tragic incident. It's unbelievable, you know?" said Michael Welsh of Scranton.

Police say Friday, Sister Angela and her sister, Rosemary Smith, filed emergency protection from abuse orders against Smith's son, Alan Smith.

According to the paperwork, Smith said he was "going to and neighbors" and was a "sociopath" with "psychotic episodes."

Saturday morning, officers say they went to give Alan Smith the papers when he started setting furniture in the house on fire and shooting at officers.

Investigators say they recovered 72-year-old Rosemary and 50-year-old Alan Smith's bodies from the property.

Police say Smith shot his mother in the head, killing her before dying himself from burns and smoke inhalation.

Sister Angela Miller was believed to be in the house, too.

A search dog was called in to help find her, but could not.

"There's a lot of debris, so they're going to be some more debris and taking a look at a couple of areas where we had some interest. It's hard to tell if we're picking up what was there or what is there,” said Chief Bruce Barton of PA-Special Emergencies Response Team.

Alan Smith had a criminal record, including charges of child pornography and harassment and investigators called him a suspect in the 2005 homicide of Joseph Morrison of West Scranton.

Sister Angela was well known in the Scranton area for her work. She used to teach at St. Clare/St. Paul, a Catholic school in the city.

"She was always kind, and she was a great teacher, a lot of good memories with her class. We would get goldfish and pretzels and stuff when we would get questions right. We had to do times tables, classic third grade stuff, but she was a great person and I remember going back to St. Clare's to talk to her, and she would always remember my name, remember who I was,” said Welsh.

Investigators say they will return to Washburn Street to search Tuesday morning.


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