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Cops: Sisters of Iowa state rep found dead in Pittsburgh home

Authorities outside a home on Chislett Street in Pittsburgh. The bodies of sisters Susan Wolfe and Sarah Wolfe were found in the basement of their home on Chislett Street, Friday. Rebecca Droke, AP

PITTSBURGH — Two sisters of an Iowa state representative have been found dead of gunshot wounds to the head in the Pittsburgh home they shared, and police are now investigating the case as a double homicide.

The bodies of Susan Wolfe, 44, and Sarah Wolfe, 38, were found Friday afternoon in their basement, authorities said. CBS Pittsburgh reports that police found Sarah Wolfe's lime green Ford Fiesta around 1:15 a.m. Saturday parked nearly a mile away.

Sarah Wolfe was a psychiatrist for Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic. Susan Wolfe was a teacher's aide at Hillel Academy in Pittsburgh's Squirrel Hill neighborhood, and when she didn’t show up for work on Friday, a concerned co-worker called police.

“It wasn’t like her,” Sam Weinberg, who worked with Susan, told the station. “She never missed work, she never was late. We called her, we texted her, we emailed her, she didn’t respond. Our CEO Dan Kraut asked to call police and we did.”

Their sister, Mary Wolfe, is an Iowa Democratic state representative who lives in Clinton, Iowa. Her website says she is the oldest of eight children, six girls and two boys.

Pittsburgh police Lt. Daniel Herrmann said they don't have a motive for the killings, and there were no signs of forced entry. Family members, most of whom live in Iowa, said they're still trying to figure out what happened.

The Allegheny County medical examiner's office said both women died of single gunshot wounds to the head.

Herrmann said police are asking the public for information about anything that may have been seen or heard Thursday between the hours of 5 and 9 p.m. near the sisters' home or near where their car was discovered.

On her Facebook page Saturday night, Rep. Wolfe thanked friends, neighbors and colleagues for their support.

"We are so grateful," she wrote. "Heartbroken, but grateful."

Dr. Claudia M. Roth, CEO of Western Psychiatric, said in a statement that she mourned the loss of both lives and said Sarah "was known as a very compassionate, warm, caring and bright physician who was praised by patients, families, staff and colleagues."

“[Susan] was really great,” said Weinberg. “I mean, all the kids loved her. They’re going to miss her. She was a really great teacher, very devoted. She cared a lot about her job.”

Sarah Wolfe purchased the home in the East Liberty neighborhood on Dec. 3 for $210,000, Allegheny County records show. Susan Wolfe had recently moved from Iowa to Pittsburgh to live with her sister.

Neighbors said the area is normally quiet and safe. Police are investigating but have released few details.

  • Crimesider Staff

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