A nurse attempting to buy a refrigerator for her boyfriend was killed by a man she met through Facebook Marketplace, Pennsylvania authorities revealed Wednesday.
Denise Williams, who worked at Conemaugh Memorial Medical Center, died as a result of “massive blood loss to her body due to multiple stab wounds,” Cambria County coroner Jeff Lees said during a news briefing livestreamed by WJAC.
“She did put up one heck of a fight. This was a violent death that she sustained,” Lees said.
The suspect in the case, 26-year-old Joshua Gorgone, was arrested Tuesday, the same day as the slaying, District Attorney Greg Neugebauer said. He was charged with criminal homicide and two felony counts of aggravated assault.
Williams’ family helped officers find her body by giving them information from her Facebook account, according to Neugebauer.
Her account showed she had communicated with Gorgone through Facebook Marketplace and was going to his home to look at a refrigerator as gift for her boyfriend.
Williams, 54, was found dead inside the seller’s home in Geistown, a borough roughly 70 miles east of Pittsburgh.
“They really demonstrated an awareness for the victim. Something was out of place,” the district attorney said of the family. “She didn’t contact them, she didn’t communicate with them. That was odd. They contacted police and they themselves were very aggressive in trying to find their loved one.”
Police did not provide a motive for the slaying. Williams and Gorgone did not appear to have any prior relationship before they met, Neugebauer said.
Geistown Borough Police Chief Nicholas Zakucia said the incident was “a tough scene and a tough call for our officers.”
“Geistown is like a family and when you lose someone like this, when you have instances of this nature, it’s a shock to us all,” Zakucia said.
Officials offered tips for how to safely meet online sellers.
“Use caution when you’re dealing with anybody or anything involving purchasing something through then internet, meeting up with someone,” Neugebauer said. “Don’t go alone. Don’t invite someone to your house alone to look at something. Always have someone with you or if possible, meet in a public or well-lit place.”