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Murder Suspect Claims Mercy-Killing Of Wife, Police Say That Story Doesn't Add Up

LIGONIER, Pa. (KDKA) -- A Westmoreland county man is behind bars after State Troopers say he murdered his wife, then kept her body in the couple's home for a week.

Investigators say it was the victim's daughter that got law enforcement involved after she had not heard from her mother.

What State Police say happened inside a home near Ligonier has all the earmarks of a homicide born of mercy and desperation, but troopers say that looks can be deceiving.

"It's a shame that it happened," said Trooper Stephen Limani.

According to State Police, Shane Montjar shot his 76-year-old wife, claiming he did it to end the woman's long-suffering from some type of terminal ailment.

Shane Montjar
(Courtesy: Westmoreland County Prison)

"His wife was coughing and that triggered him to go get a revolver and shoot her from behind," Trooper Limani said.

As investigators asked Montjar about what allegedly happened in that house, they started finding holes in his story, including his wife's medical condition.

She may have been sick, but she was hardly close to dying.

"We don't have any indications she had any sickness that you would consider terminal or anything of that nature," Trooper Limani said.

Investigators say what Montjar allegedly did with his deceased wife's body defies what anyone would do in the wake of such an event.

"The residence was cleaned up and she was covered," Trooper Limani said.

Ligonier Shane Montjar
(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Court records indicate Montjar taped up the dead woman's limbs, wrapped her in plastic, then wrapped the corpse in carpet, leaving the body in the living room for at least a week.

"I think that's one of the worst parts of this entire case," Trooper Limani said.

Tropers satt this entire alleged crime was only discovered thanks to the dead woman's daughter's concern over her mother's welfare.

"We were very fortunate there were red flags came up to the family, Trooper Limani said."

Montjar is being held in the Westmoreland County Prison facing a number of felony counts, including murder and abuse of a corpse.

As for a motive, investigators say that's one question that remains unanswered.

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