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Authorities ID Person Of Interest In Brackenridge Homicide

BRACKENRIDGE (KDKA) -- Authorities in West Virginia have identified a person of interest in the death of a woman from Brackenridge.

WDTV-TV reports Justin Elliott Bartlett was last seen by law enforcement Saturday afternoon outside of the Rainbow Plaza Shop 'n Save in Mannington, West Virginia. He is believed to have headed towards the Fairmont area, where officials believe he spent the night inside the Katy Baptist Church.

The Allegheny County Medical Examiner's Office determined that Linda McGinnis, 63, died Friday morning from a chop wound to the head and a stab wound to the neck. She was reported missing Friday, her car was gone, and her body was found inside her home the next day.

WDTV-TV reports that Mannington Police repossessed the car Bartlett was driving from the parking lot of the Katy Baptist Church in Fairmont. It was registered in the name of his grandmother with a Pennsylvania license plate.

Bartlett is described as a white male standing about 5-feet-8-inches tall.

He weighs approximately 135 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

He was last seen wearing a black coat, black gloves and blue jeans covered in mud.

Police say he's considered very dangerous and could have a knife on him.

Bartlett has a long criminal history and was sentenced to two years in prison back in 2014 after breaking into a man's home and setting his cat on fire.

McGinnis lived alone on Ninth Avenue in Brackenridge with her black cockapoo, Mandy.

"This is such a tragedy for the whole family. Such a tragedy," neighbor Lorraine Gross said.

Lorraine Gross, who lives next door, is left with so many unanswered questions.

"She was a little sweetheart. She was very much to herself and didn't associate a lot with the people around," Gross said.

Gross knows McGinnis' parents really well.

"Her mother called me and said I can't get in touch with Linda," Gross said. "Her father and I went in just checking around. We didn't look in any of the rooms. We didn't go in and move anything."

"A neighbor you like to try and keep an eye on. Most of us tried to keep an eye on her to make sure she was okay," neighbor Ron Crawford said.

But never in a million years did neighbors picture this.

"A shock to everyone. As soon as one person found out, within five minutes the neighborhood found out. The neighbors are all shocked."

If you have seen anything in the 900 block of Ninth Avenue, you're being asked to call Allegheny County Homicide at (412)-473-1300.

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