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Hermitage woman charged in 2013 slaying

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Tracy Linn Hassel, charged with slaying of Mercer County businessman

A bloody, broken cigarette was one of many key pieces of evidence that gave authorities in Mercer County the proof they say they needed to charge a woman with the slaying of a Greenville businessman.

Tracy Linn Hassel, 31, of Hermitage, who is incarcerated in the State Correctional Facility for Women in Muncy for an unrelated burglary conviction, is charged with second-degree murder, third-degree murder, robbery and burglary for the stabbing death of Frank R. Crash, 76, inside his home in Hempfield, near Greenville, District Attorney Robert Kochems said during a news conference Thursday.

According to the criminal complaint:

The body of Crash, who had been stabbed more than 70 times, was found by family members on the morning of July 25, 2013, when he didn’t arrive for work at Frank Crash Auto Wrecking. A diamond ring and money he was always known to carry around in one of his front pockets were missing.

The cigarette, which showed DNA evidence of Hassel and Crash, was found near a back door that had been pried open. Hassel’s DNA also was found on the door.

Her boyfriend told detectives that Hassel — who acknowledged having an intimate relationship with Crash — told him she stabbed the businessman.

Investigators are trying to determine whether a second “person of interest” was involved in the slaying, Kochems said.

Michael Hasch is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-320-7820 or [email protected].

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