The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

Local News

June 24, 2013

Two jailed in Connellsville woman’s death

CONNELLSVILLE — Two men were charged with strangling and sexually assaulting a woman whose nude body was discovered floating in a river the morning after police said she was seen with the men at a bar. Margaret "Peggy Sue" Kriek's body was found about 9:45 a.m. Saturday by a Boy Scout troop from Pittsburgh that was boating on the Youghiogheny River.

Paul Bannasch, of Hopwood, and Craig Rugg, of Connellsville, were jailed Monday without bond on charges including criminal homicide, criminal conspiracy, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and abuse of a corpse. Online court records didn't list attorneys for the two men, both of whom are 24.

The 52-year-old Kriek was seen with the men at a bar in Connellsville about 11:30 p.m. Friday and again shortly after midnight in a nearby Amtrak parking lot, according to a criminal complaint. Police contend the men beat and sexually assaulted Kriek, who was dead by the time she was thrown into the river, according to an autopsy sanctioned by the Fayette County coroner.

Some of Kriek's clothing was found near the train platform. Investigators also found drag marks and blood leading to the river, according to the criminal complaint, which said the autopsy determined she had been strangled. Kriek had a broken bone in her throat, trauma injuries to her face and head, injuries consistent with being sexually assaulted, a rib fracture, and cuts and scrapes in various places, investigators said.

Bannasch returned to the bar at some point to ask where Kriek lived, police said in the complaint. When customers offered to alert the bar's security, Bannasch told them not to and, instead, told patrons to deny knowing him if they eventually saw his name or face turn up on "wanted" posters, police said.

Court records show both men have criminal records.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local News
  • Denne, Williams & Stanton Records hearing scheduled

    A Cambria County judge will consider complaints filed by two Johnstown residents seeking documents related to the city’s municipal waste water operation at hearing at the end of this month.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Sen. Bob Casey Casey targets heroin

    The heroin trade has brought addiction, death, violence and theft to Johnstown and other Pennsylvania communities.
    Figuring out how to deal with those issues is difficult for local, state and federal officials.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Drive-in to open with high-tech projector

    Drive-in movie theaters and the term “state of the art” seldom share the same sentence.
    But that will soon be the case for the Silver Drive-In, it’s owner said. The Scalp Avenue site, often marketed as a nostalgic summer night escape, soon will boast a high-end projector capable of displaying the latest and greatest blockbusters in razor sharp high-definition, theater owner Rick Rosco said.

    April 18, 2014

  • Sheetz work underway

    Earthmoving is underway at Richland Town Centre for a nearly 6,500-square-foot Sheetz store.
    And the real estate broker marketing the land says a 3,000-square-foot retail building will be built next door.

    April 18, 2014

  • Smith, Shakir Mosi Police seize heroin, money in Prospect

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. Friday. An arrest warrant has been issued for the man be­lieved to be the owner or renter of the two homes raided.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Comedy night targets serious problem

    Animal advocates are using comedy to take aim at a serious problem.
    The third annual Funny Fundraiser to benefit the Nardecchia Spay and Neuter Fund will be held at 8 p.m. May 16 at Ace’s, 316 Chestnut St. in the Cambria City section of Johnstown.

    April 18, 2014

  • Local briefs 4/19/2014

    April 18, 2014

  • Early morning police raid in Prospect area leads to arrest warrant

    Johnstown police reported that several bricks of heroin, along with $4,000 in cash and a handgun, were discovered in the city's Prospect neighborhood around 4 a.m. this morning.

    April 18, 2014

  • Home is Where The Tribune-Democrat is Delivered!

    April 18, 2014

  • new councilman Judge fills City Council vacancy

    A lifelong Johnstown resident who has never sought election to public office was named Thursday to fill the vacancy on City Council.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo


Do you think that Jack Williams will get the 270 signatures from city residents needed in order to have a referendum placed on a municipal ballot to have the city's pressure test mandate repealed?

I'm not sure
     View Results
House Ads