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June 10, 2014

Probe continues into Windber homicide

— A preliminary hearing has been continued for the Windber man accused of fatally shooting his pregnant girlfriend in the head May 31.

Meanwhile, state police in Somerset say their investigation continues into the matter, which currently has 25-year-old Denver R. Blough facing homicide and a list of other charges.

Search warrant documents filed last week show investigators seized a breech-loading shotgun, remains of a spent shell casing and numerous pellets from Blough’s 19th Street apartment the morning after the shooting.

Traces of blood were also collected from the kitchen, where police say Caressa Kovalcik, 23, was gunned down, as well as clothing Blough was wearing when he was taken into custody, including hunting shoes, a sweatshirt and hunter-style coveralls, Trooper Ted Goins listed in an inventory sheet filed with the search warrant request.

State police say Blough admitted to shooting Kovalcik, but that he allegedly told troopers his shotgun fired accidentally after he broke it in a fit of anger following an argument.

Charges of homicide, aggravated assault and others were filed against Blough, who is also charged with reckless endangerment because the couple’s 11-month-old child was in the home at the time.  A single count of attempted criminal homicide was filed related to the fact Kovalcik was carrying his then-unborn child when the shooting occurred, records show.

The infant was delivered at Memorial Medical Center in an emergency surgery within hours of the shooting,  and then flown to Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, state police said at the time. Kovalcik died that night, the Cambria County coroner’s office said.

Now more than a week old, the child continues receiving treatment at Children’s Hospital, Goins confirmed Tuesday. The hospital has kept the infant’s condition private, citing medical confidentiality and security laws. Kovalcik’s family has requested privacy.

Blough, currently represented by the county Public Defender’s Office, remains in Somerset County Jail awaiting his preliminary hearing. No bond has been set because of the criminal homicide charge against him.

His hearing before District Judge William Seger is set for July 31.

David Hurst covers Richland for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter.com at www.twitter.com/td davidhurst.

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