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Meredith's mystery: Why was the York woman shot and left to die?

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch

The area off Indian Rock Dam Road where Meredith Celest Wilson Keltner was shot multiple times and left to die is secluded, wooded and mostly quiet.

On Friday morning, birdsong there was punctuated, but not drowned out, by occasional gunshots from a nearby shooting range that police said neighbors are used to hearing.

A week after Keltner's attack, officers and detectives from Northern York County Regional Police stopped all traffic at the intersection of Indian Rock Dam and Smyser roads between 8 a.m. and about 9:30 a.m., handing out flyers in an effort to solve the mystery of what happened to the 27-year-old.

They asked drivers if they regularly travel the route, if they drove past there the morning of June 12 when Keltner was shot, whether they saw anything unusual and whether they have dashboard cameras. People were given flyers and asked to call police if they remember anything.

"If we get one lead about the case, then it was worth it," Northern Regional Police Chief Dave Lash said at the scene. He was one of about a half-dozen officers handing out flyers.

Northern York County Regional Police police stopped motorists on Indian Rock Dam Road at Smyser Road Friday, June 19, 2020, while seeking information from drivers who frequent the roadway regarding the shooting of Meredith Keltner. Keltner, who is in critical condition, was found with multiple gunshot wounds on Smyser Road a week ago. Bill Kalina photo

Two detectives also were on hand, including lead Detective Mark Baker, in case any drivers had information to pass on, the chief said.

About the attack: A passerby found Keltner lying on Smyser Road at 9:21 a.m. June 12, about 150 yards from the intersection. The small, hilly road is surrounded by thick foliage, and there are only three houses along it.

She remains in critical condition in York Hospital's intensive-care unit and has been unable to speak with detectives, according to Lash.

Meredith Wilson Keltner

"The goal," he told The York Dispatch, "is to have the case solved before she wakes up."

It's hoped Keltner will improve and name her attacker, but the York-area woman has life-threatening injuries, Lash said, and is "not doing well."

Investigators are trying to piece together where Keltner was, with whom, and what she was doing between late May and the morning of June 12, Lash said.

Keltner has lived in York County for some time and previously lived in Sayre, Bradford County, the chief said. She does not live in the area where she was found shot.

25 long minutes: Lash said investigators have determined Keltner was shot at 8:56 a.m. and lay on Smyser Road for 25 minutes until someone saw her and called 911.

Officers were on scene a few minutes later and immediately heard gunfire at the shooting range, he said, adding that neighbors could have assumed the gunfire in Keltner's attack was simply from the shooting range.

Police are still searching for anyone who might have video from a dashcam or doorbell camera or other security camera in the area. The areas of interest are Indian Rock Dam, Woodberry, Hokes Mill, Smyser, Markle, Access, Days Mill and Salem/Stoverstown roads, as well as Richland Avenue, Route 616 and West College Avenue, police said.

No danger to public: Keltner was shot while on Smyser Road and the attack wasn't random, police said; the public isn't in danger.

Sharon Williams, of Seven Valleys, was one of the dozens of drivers stopped by police Friday morning. She said she hopes their efforts solve the mystery and thinks it was a good tactic for police to try.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call Northern Regional Police's tip line at 717-467-TELL, or email information to tips@nycrpd.org. Tipsters can remain anonymous, Lash said.

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.

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Meredith Wilson Keltner