Watch CBS News

Estranged husband charged for murder after Montgomery County woman found dead in her home: DA

Police charged estranged husband for murder after woman found dead inside Wyndmoor home
Police charged estranged husband for murder after woman found dead inside Wyndmoor home 01:54

WYNDMOOR, Pa. (CBS) -- A Montgomery County neighborhood was in shock after 57-year-old Elizabeth Shea was found dead in her home Wednesday and police charged her estranged husband, 37-year-old Kenneth Shea, with murder Thursday.

"It's a tragic loss. From all accounts, she was a really nice person," a neighbor said.

Police found Elizabeth Shea's body at her home on Cromwell Drive near Paper Mill Road Wednesday morning. This was after a wellness check when she didn't show up for work. Investigators said it was a case of domestic violence.

In a statement, District Attorney Kevin Steele said, "This is a tragic case, and our hearts go out to the family of Elizabeth Shea."

Police arrived at Elizabeth Shea's home around 7:30 a.m. and found her on the floor of her bedroom. Dr. Janine Darby from the Montgomery County Coroner's Office said Elizabeth Shea died of multiple stab wounds. Investigators said an air conditioner was removed from inside the home, allowing her estranged husband to enter.

Police later arrested Kenneth Shea around 6 p.m. Wednesday at a nearby hotel. Investigators said he had blood on his clothes and cuts to his finger. Investigators said Elizabeth Shea had a protection from abuse order against Kenneth Shea after she was assaulted in January. He was served in March and evicted from their home.

Neighbors said they weren't aware of any problems.

"They're all lovey-dovey and everything like that when I've seen them in public," a neighbor said.

Montco nonprofit offers help after estranged husband charged for Wyndmoor woman's death 01:54

Local domestic violence intervention advocates are frustrated.

"It makes it hard for advocates to come in and do what they need to do," Stacy Dougherty said as she wiped away tears.

Dougherty never met 57-year-old Elizabeth Shea. But Dougherty grieved as Deputy Director of Laurel House, an agency that tries to help people facing domestic violence escape to safety.

"The danger significantly increases for victims of domestic violence when they've left that relationship," Dougherty explained. "And unfortunately, that's what happened to Mrs. Shea."

Dougherty still urged anyone in an abusive relationship to reach out now, because abuse can happen to anyone. Many people can get help with a safety plan for leaving a relationship.

"Some of the things we normally talk about is: Is it safe to drive to work? Does this person know your routes to and from work? Do we need to get the locks changed on your home?"

According to the criminal complaint against Kenneth Shea, Elizabeth Shea got all the locks changed on her home. 

"She did all the things she was supposed to do to be safe, and it's still a very tragic loss for everyone who knew her and people who didn't know her," Dougherty said.

Kenneth Shea is in jail facing first, second and third-degree murder charges.

If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic violence, the following resources are available to help:

National Domestic Violence Hotline

Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Laurel House

  • (800) 642-3150

Victim Services Center

  • (888) 521-0983
View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.