Crime

Family doesn’t know anyone who would have 'a shred of personal vendetta against her'

Friend remembers Jean Tuggy

Police are still investigating the homicide of Jean Tuggy. Centre County Report reporter Sam DelRosso sat down with one of Tuggy's friends to talk about what she was like.
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Police are still investigating the homicide of Jean Tuggy. Centre County Report reporter Sam DelRosso sat down with one of Tuggy's friends to talk about what she was like.

It was in the afternoon hours of Jan. 21, 2016, when police officers, responding to a call in Pine Grove Mills, discovered the body of Jean Tuggy.

Tuggy, 60, was initially discovered by a friend who went to check on her welfare, the CDT reported a year ago. An autopsy the next day revealed injuries and trauma indicating the death was not an accident.

“There was some trauma to the body,” Centre County Coroner Scott Sayers said the day after the discovery. “There was injury to the body, it was obvious, and it’s still an ongoing investigation.”

There was no sign of forced entry to the home, and robbery did not appear to be a motive, police said.

Since then, Tuggy’s case remains up in the air — her death unsolved, her perpetrator uncaught.

Tuggy died of a gunshot wound to the head, fired from inside her home on Jan. 20, 2016, Ferguson Township police said Saturday, marking the anniversary of the crime. In addition to local police, the Pennsylvania State Police Forensic Services Unit was also called to process the crime scene.

About 100 interviews were conducted, police said, along with examinations of cellphone and social media records in the months following the incident.

“But to date, none of these efforts have resulted in sufficient information leading to an identification of the perpetrator,” police said. “The case remains open and active and police remain hopeful that new information will result in a break in the case.”

Neighbors were encouraged to lock their doors and windows in the days and weeks following the alleged murder, and warned to “remain vigilant.” A $5,000 reward, offered through both the Centre County District Attorney’s Office and Board of Commissioners, still stands, waiting to be collected by anyone who can make a break in the case.

On Thursday, District Attorney Stacy Parks Miller said that while it is frustrating to not have an answer yet, law enforcement will not stop until they solve the case. There have been no new developments, she said, but the county continues to treat it as a top priority.

“We haven’t given up hope,” she said. “Sometimes it just takes the smallest thing. These kinds of cases are sometimes solved in the strangest ways.”

Parks Miller encouraged anyone with any piece of information, no matter how small, to come forward.

Tuggy’s son, James, said Saturday that the Tuggy family doesn’t know anyone who would have even “a shred of personal vendetta against her,” adding he doesn’t believe it was a home invasion with the intent to steal.

He said he points no blame at police or first responders for coming up empty handed, saying he appreciates all involved in the work and trying to keep his mother’s memory alive.

“I wish for a peace of mind,” he said, “not just justice.”

Ferguson Township police ask anyone with information to contact them at 800-479-0050 or submit an anonymous tip at tip@centrecountycrimestoppers.org.

Jeremy Hartley: 814-231-4616, @JJHartleyNews

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