Woman found dead, three children unharmed in Spring Grove
Police responding to a reported homicide in Spring Grove found a woman dead and three children unharmed, according to a news release.
Officers dispatched to 82 N. Main St. found the body of 24-year-old Samantha Stein just after 7 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 16, the release states.
Southwestern Regional Police Sgt. Jamie Stalcup held a news conference later that afternoon. He said Stein was discovered in her home by her boyfriend.
The children, reportedly found unharmed, were younger than 11 and were present at the time of the incident, according to Stalcup. He said they are now safe and with family.
Southwestern Regional Police said Stein's death “was not random and there is no reason for public concern.”
"We believe this is all targeted," Stalcup said. He added that police think the homicide could be related to several incidents that happened within the past three months.
"We had an arson at the residence next to this and several criminal mischiefs," he said. These included recent incidents of vandalism to the victim's cars.
Billie Jo Barrett, who lived next door to the victim, was concerned about the arson, so she went with a neighbor and spoke about it at the last borough council meeting.
Barrett said Stein and her boyfriend had been planning to move into the house next door to where they currently lived.
"They were set to move in the next day," she said, adding they had their sofa and refrigerator moved in before arson destroyed the first floor of the home.
"She was just a nice person," Barrett said. "We spoke mostly as neighbors."
Barrett said she would see Stein outside and ask about her kids. She said Stein was a quiet person and proud to be a stay-at-home mother.
Barrett also mentioned the vandalism — someone had put sugar and bleach in the gas tanks of Stein's cars.
"The neighborhood is so concerned," Barrett said.
The York County District Attorney’s Office, coroner’s office, county detectives and the county’s forensics team are assisting in the investigation, according to Southwestern Regional.
Police suspect homicide based on the injuries to the victim, Stalcup said.
He said there have been no other homicides in the borough this year.
"This is uncommon," Stalcup said. "It is a quiet place. It's not a place you have to fear for your safety walking down the street at any time."
The area is typically victim to property crimes, domestic incidents and traffic issues, he continued.
"It's not a high crime area," Barrett said. She said some people in the area have lived there for more than 30 years. Barrett has lived there for 33 years.
Police say they have persons of interest in the case, and they ask anyone with information about the crime to call 717-854-5571 and ask to speak to a Southwestern Regional officer.