ERIE, Pa. (AP) — A coroner says an Ohio kidnapping suspect charged in the beating death of a woman in a northwestern Pennsylvania home invasion hanged himself at the county prison during the weekend.
Erie County coroner Lylell Cook said his ruling is provisional and will be final once his office receives the results of post-mortem tests, but he said Kyle Johnson died of an apparent suicide, The Erie Times-News (http://bit.ly/1Vylxyu ) reported.
Johnson, 25, of Warrendale Heights in suburban Cleveland, was pronounced dead Sunday afternoon at UPMC Hamot Trauma Center after he was found unresponsive in his cell.
Johnson had been arraigned Saturday afternoon on charges of homicide and murder in the death of 58-year-old Kum Miller, which occurred hours earlier. Johnson was earlier charged with attempted homicide and aggravated assault.
Authorities allege that Johnson kidnapped a former girlfriend a week ago in Oakwood Village and had her in his car trunk when he broke into Miller’s home in an upscale Erie neighborhood on Tuesday.
Officials allege that after using a crowbar to pry open a door of the home, he then beat Miller with the crowbar and also stabbed her in the neck with a box cutter. Her husband arrived home later, encountered Johnson, fought with him and screamed for help, authorities said. A neighbor who responded shot Johnson in the right shoulder and left leg when he tried to flee as police arrived, officials said.
Police told the Erie Times-News that the kidnap victim said Johnson was looking for a place “to collect his thoughts” and possibly get a different vehicle. Johnson was also charged with animal cruelty after a dog was found dead in the Millers’ home.